A Herdade

The fictional biography of Ricardo Salgado, by way of Os Maias. Direct political answer to Raiva. Visually, it’s almost 3 hours of people chain smoking and gobbling litters of whisky.

Starts out as a soap opera about large landowners, just like all other soap operas. These capitalists are special though, and are “unfairly” challenged during the Agrarian Revolution. Comes to bite him in the ass with his prole.

In particular, this follows a specific guy, since he was 10 and watched his brother hanging from a tree, until he is about 60, near the same tree, in a similar mood. He is the standard landholder, suffocated by the big city life in the rare times he has to go there.

During the Carnation Revolution, there was an attempt (actually achieved in some locations) to turn over the land to whoever want to work on it. This is just the backdrop for familiar drama, there is scant a mention of much in those volatile times, from attempted coups (Spinola), to car bombs and death squads (FP25). Nor is there any explanation for how this particular landowner retained his land, probably restored afterwards (Álvaro Barreto).

The important thing is that by the early 90s is all out of whack. His son is a grunge-y junkie, his daughter is unknowingly carnally involved with her half-brother, his wife is divorcing him. Decades of neglect and hostility lead to complete loss of the land he “worked” for decades to maintain, taken away by debts and neglect.

He has disappointed his father and himself, surviving the strongest external attacks to be corroded from the inside. Ambition kills.

Artistically this is the state of the art you can get with this kind of budgets. World Class acting, inspired cinematography with only minor complaints to be had.

This will be turned into a miniseries too, looking forward to the scenes the stayed on the cutting room floor.


This is my place for ramblings about sequences of images that exploit the human visual limitation know as persistence of vision.

Ephemera of Vision