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| Columbus Premiere
| New Restoration
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Receiving its first US release, Paulo Rocha’s debut feature—a founding work of Portugal’s Novo Cinema—is a haunting coming-of-age tale that captures a country in transition.
Gloriously shot in black and white, The Green Years follows the romance of 19-year-old Julio, a shoemaker newly in Lisbon from the provinces, and Ilda, a confident young housemaid. Julio’s working-class values soon collide with Ilda’s bourgeois trappings, and as with key works of the French New Wave, the film captures the 1960s’ cultural upheavals—in the case of Portugal, the modernization of urban life in the wake of dictator António de Oliveira Salazar.
Before launching his own directing career, Rocha worked as an assistant to both Jean Renoir and Manoel de Oliveira. Long unscreened in the US, Rocha’s films are championed by such contemporary directors as Pedro Costa and have been celebrated with retrospectives at the Buenos Aires International Film Festival and the Locarno Film Festival, where The Green Years was named Best First Film in 1964. (89 mins., digital video) In Portuguese with English subtitles.
Image courtesy of Grasshopper Film
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The Green Years