14 Best Portuguese Movies You Can’t Miss

If you are looking to expand your horizons and get an introduction to Portuguese cinema, this list is for you. Portugal is a beautiful country in the south of Europe with a great cinematic view.

This list features a wide range of movies, from classics from the 40s to more recent love stories and family sagas. (It does not include Brazilian movies, only films directed by Portuguese filmmakers.) Portuguese cinema has many amazing films, which makes this list so hard to write. There are a lot of movies that deserve your attention but this are just fourteen films to get you started.

 

14. Our Beloved Month of August (2008)

“Our Beloved Month of August” is a docu-drama about Portuguese social life in the countryside during the busy month of August. August is known for village parties and popular dances, processions and pilgrimages. It is also marked by the return of Portuguese immigrants.

Director Miguel Gomes combines documentaries with fictional elements to tell a story focused on the rural side of Portugal. The film not only portrays teenage love but also family problems. This is an interesting movie, with great characters, a good dialog and an engaging narration with attention to the details.

 

13. In Vanda’s Room (2000)

Vanda Duarte is a heroin addict in Lisbon. We are transported to her bedroom and to the community that surrounds her. Pedro Costa’s film is a punch in the stomach. It shows the harsh realities of a group of vulnerable people. “Vanda’s Room” is possibly one of the most disturbing portrayals on the lives of the miserable that you will ever watch. Besides, it is beautiful cinematographically and very well-executed.

 

12. The Mutants (1998)

“The Mutants” follows three homeless teenage rejected by society (but also that reject society) that struggle to survive together in the 90s. Andreia is pregnant, while Pedro and Ricardo hustle, steal and are exploited by a pornographer.

Directed and written by Teresa Villaverde, this film deals with complicated but important issues, such as teenage pregnancy, sexual exploitation, violence, and racism. With incredible performances and direction, “The Mutants” is an amazing and heart-breaking drama that any Portuguese cinema lover should watch.

 

11. Alice (2005)

Alice, a young girl, has been missing for 193 days. In an act of desperation, her father leaves the house every day and repeats the same path he walked the day Alice went missing. “Alice” tells the heart-breaking story of the impact of the disappearance of this young child.

With breathtaking performances (by Nuno Lopes and Beatriz Betarda) and an amazing photography, “Alice” tells a powerful and unique story from the amazing point of view of director Marco Martins. Besides having also a fantastic soundtrack (by Bernardo Sassetti), this film is a must-see particularly because it seems to be dedicated to the city of Lisbon.

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