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"Serpentarius" selected to Viennale

28 August 2019
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“Serpentarius”, first feature film by director Carlos Conceição, will be part of Viennale's program, to be held from October 24th to November 6th, in Vienna, Austria.


Serpentarius” by Carlos Conceição, a Portuguese-Angolan co-production, represented by Agência - Portuguese Short Film Agency, had its world premiere at Berlinale Forum and was first exhibited in Portuguese territory at Curtas Vila do Conde where the author was Director in Focus. In the meantime, the film won the Nuove Visione Prize at Sicilia Queer in Italy, the Audience Award at the Burgas Film Festival in Bulgaria and is now selected for Viennale, the most important international film event in Austria as well as one of the most world's oldest and best known German-speaking festivals.


"Serpentarius" will be screened at part of the Viennale Features section, accompanied by films by Pedro Costa, Agnés Varda, Nadav Lapid or the Dardenne brothers. About this Austrian premiere, Viennale's programmer, Nico Marzano, wrote about the film on the event's webpage:


Carlos Conceição's first full length feature "Serpentarius" unfolds before our eyes as an hypnotic journey between memories and premonitory visions, and the idea of voyage as starting point for a personal and collective search. The film and the gaze of Carlos Conceição, a long-time collaborator of João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra da Mata, is inextricably rooted in his personal journey, and that of his family, from Angola (where he is originally from) to Portugal. Through undefinable landscapes, haunting mythology and sci-fi ruins, the search for the director's mother and his origins begins. "Serpentarius" progressively takes shape as a cinematic alter ego that speaks of the act of leaving, setting out, exploring. Preoccupations such as colonialism, slavery and the relationship between the land and people who belong to that land are embedded in the idea of a spiritual quest. "Serpentarius" unfolds as an odyssey, an ancestral road movie, suspended between multiple dimensions that take us through the desert, ruins, history, future and all those places of life and death. However the serpentarium is also the place where snakes are bred, it is the job of those who carry them, the constellation from which it's possible to observe the world. As in a long stream of consciousness, "Serpentarius" is a personal and existential reflection relying on associations of ideas and spaces that plays with Proust, with our soul, in a continuous digression where in turn courted by ladies wearing eighteenth-century laces around their necks; passengers in a van or the Three Caravels; gunslingers in the saloons of the Wild West or astronauts looking for another dimension beyond space and time. What are we looking for ? Identity, belonging, tradition, roots represented by a mother left behind and whose absence keeps returning in dreams and memories yet as a physical, palpable and haunting presence.