EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS, THE ENIGMA (CRISTOVAO COLOMBO-O ENIGMA) (director/writer: Manoel De Oliveira; screenwriters: Manuel da Silva & Sílvia da Silva-inspired by the book "Cristóvão Colon Era Português ; cinematographer: Sabine Lancelin; editor: Valérie Loiseleux; music: José Luís Borges Coelho; cast: Ricardo Trêpa (Manuel Luciano), Leonor Baldaque (Sílvia), Jorge Trêpa (Hermínio Luciano), Manoel De Oliveira (2007 Manuel Luciano), Maria Isabel de Oliveira (2007 Silvia); Runtime: 75; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: François d'Artemare; Epicentre Films-PAL form DVD; 2007-Portugal-in Portuguese with English subtitles)|
slight but oddly entertaining film about checking
for the true identity of Christopher Columbus."
by Dennis Schwartz
slight but oddly entertaining film about checking for
the true identity of Christopher Columbus by the
master Portuguese filmmaker Manoel De Oliveira ("The
Strange Case of Angelica"/"A Talking Picture"/"I'm
Going Home"), who was born in 1908. It's enticing,
controversial and provocative, but it raises questions
that in the end it can't show the proof to ascertain
that the discoverer of America was Portuguese and not
Italian as it claims. The true story, adapted from the book by Manuel da Silva & Sílvia da Silva, follows a Portuguese
doctor/amateur researcher and his wife who go on a
life journey in order to prove that discoverer
Christopher Columbus was of Portuguese origin.
In 1946, twenty-something
Portuguese siblings Manuel and Herminio Da Salva
(Ricardo and Jorge Trepa) immigrate to the United
States to better themselves. Manuel becomes a medical
doctor and returns to Portugal to marry in 1960 Sylvia (Leonor Baldaque),
while Herminio stays in America and gets in involved
in movies. On their honeymoon, Manuel and Sylvia go to
Cuba and try to track down where Columbus was born
under the name Zarco later changed to Colon. The
director buys into Manuel's belief that the explorer was not born
in Genoa, but on the Cuban island of Porto Santo. It
ends with the lifetime searching senior citizen couple
(Maria Isabel de
Oliveira & Manoel De Oliveira) visiting in 2007
Manhattan's Columbus Circle and still trying to make
their case, but only raising questions and not
providing answers one could pound the table for.
REVIEWED ON 4/26/2013 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ