Mysteries of Lisbon

For those with open minds, the cinema of Ruiz offers enormous and unique pleasure.


Mysteries of Lisbon

Set in Portugal’s capital city of Lisbon in the 19th Century, the story at the heart of MYSTERIES OF LISBON centers on the 14-year-old João, an orphan in a boarding school who’s compelled to discover the truth behind his parents, his origins and, thus, himself.

Raul Ruiz’s, Mysteries of Lisbon, masterful adaptation of the eponymous nineteenth-century Portuguese novel (by Camilo Castelo Branco) evokes the complex intertwined narratives of Victor Hugo and Charles Dickens. The core story centers on Joao, the bastard child of an ill-fated romance between two members of the aristocracy who are forbidden to marry, and his quest to discover the truth of his parentage. But this is just the start of an engrossing tale that follows a multitude of characters whose fates conjoin, separate and then rejoin again over three decades in Portugal, Spain, France and Italy.

Not Rated
Raoul Ruiz
Carlos Saboga
Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

This is the last completed work from the remarkable and prolific Chilean film-maker Raúl Ruiz, who died in August this year at the age of 70. Originally intended as a TV mini-series, it has now been boldly put together as a dream-epic feature in two parts, lasting four-and-a-half hours. Mysteries of ...

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