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52nd edition

Vale Abraão

Fortnight 1993, Feature film, 3 h 07


This is the story of Ema, a woman of threatening beauty. To her husband Carlos, whom she has lovelessly married, “a face like hers can justify a man’s life”. Her taste for luxury, the illusions of life she lives on, the desire she arouses have earned her the nickname of “little Bovary”. She is about to meet three lovers, but her romances will not succeed in curbing a growing feeling of delusion, which is nothing more than a “swinging frame of mind”. Ema will die “by accident (who knows?”), on a sunny day, after getting dressed as to go dancing.


Manoel De Oliveira

De Oliveira was born in Portugal in 1908 and started his career as an actor. In 1931, he made his first short film « Douro, ainal Fluvial », which scandalized the portuguese press. Misunderstood in his country, he encountered many difficulties to pursue his carrer as a filmmaker. He made his first full length feature in 1941: « Aniki-Bobo », a neorealist movie. The poor reception of the film forced Manoel de Oliveira to abandon other film projects for 14 years. In 1956, he directed « Le peintre et la ville », which revolutionized documentary field. In 1971, he made his third full length film, « Le Passé et le Présent »; « Francisca » was shown at The Directors’ Fortnight, as well as « Le Val Abraham », in 1993. In 1995, he directed « The Convent », starring Catherine Deneuve and John Malkovich, adapted, once again, from a novel by Agustina Bessa-Luís. He received the prestigious Prize Robert Bresson in 2004. Manoel De Oliveira died on the 2nd of April 2015, at 106. He directed more than 50 films, fictions and documentaries. Find his selective filmography on the right side of the page.

Cecile Sanz de Alba
Diogo Doria
Gloria de Matos
Isabelle Ruth
Joao Perry
Leonor Silveira
Luis Lima Barreto
Luis Miguel Cintra
Rui de Carvalho

Manoel de Oliveira d’’après le roman de Agustina Bessa-Luis, “Vale Abraao”

Mario Barroso

Henri Maikoff

Manoel de Oliveira, Valérie Loiseleux

Set decoration
Maria José Branco

Production : Madragoa Filmes, Lisbonne, Portugal Venteà l’étranger : Mercure Distribution, Paris, France

Title in Original Version : Le val Abraham