Wex from Home: Vitalina Varela

David Filipi, Director, Film/Video

Mar 27, 2020

Still image from the Pedro Costa film Vitalina Varela

Stay in with programming from Wexner Center curators.

Vitalina Varela (Pedro Costa, 2019)

Presented in a Wex virtual screening room through a partnership with Grasshopper Film

Buy your ticket here.


Those who were present for the visit by the great Portuguese filmmaker Pedro Costa to the Wex in February 2008 will always treasure the memory. We presented a retrospective of his work that month with his latest, Colossal Youth as the centerpiece. It was the film that brought him to even greater prominence on the world film stage.

We screened Costa’s follow up,Horse Money, in 2015 and intended to show his latest, Vitalina Varela, in early May. Instead, we are excited to partner with our friends at Grasshopper Film to present this incredible film earlier than expected for streaming in your home.

It's my contention that instead of watching a Costa film, one experiences it, and Vitalina Varela exemplifies this notion. The film is named for its lead character, a Cape Verdean woman who travels to visit her sick husband from whom she has been separated for years. She learns upon arriving that it is too late, he has passed. She is left to gather his things and to reconcile their long separation, their past life together, and the bits of his life previously unknown to her but shared bit by bit by people from the neighborhood.

While there's no denying this is a film that benefits greatly from a big screen, its profoundly intimate nature might also be served well by watching it at home. It's best to give your full attention to Costa's work, one of the most visually beautiful films of the year. It’s astounding what he manages to convey with the light and dark around the contours of his lead’s face.


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