Raul Ruiz and Valeria Sarmiento are behind Lines of Wellington, an epic set in and around the Battle of Bussaco. Which means – this time in Venice we have a movie which will take us back in 1810, and compete for the festival’s Golden Lion statue.
Not bad, right? Definitely not, and if you check out the rest of this report you’ll actually see that this looks quite interesting, and that some seriously good cast is on board for the whole thing as well!
But, first of all, let me just remind you that director Ruiz died in August 2011, and that his widow Valeria Sarmiento decided to take over directing duties as a homage to him. One thing is for sure – we’re dealing with a powerful and original story, which comes from “Mysteries of Lisbon’s” writer, Carlos Saboga. Here’s a synopsis part:
On September 27, 1810, the French troops under Marshal Massena, are defeated in Serra do Buçaco, by the Anglo-Portuguese army of General Wellington. The Anglo-Portuguese command organizes the evacuation of the entire territory between the battlefield and the Lines of Torres Vedras; a gigantic scorched earth operation, which makes it impossible for the French to locally access supplies.
This is the setting for the adventures of a multitude of characters from all social backgrounds – soldiers and civilians; men, women and children; young and old people whose daily lives have been torn by war and forced to wander through hills and valleys, surrounded by ruined villages, charred forests and devastated crops.
All of them, no matter their nature or motivations – the idealistic young lieutenant Pedro de Alencar, the vindictive Sergeant Francisco Xavier, the exuberant grocer Martírio, the malicious young English woman Clarissa Warren, and the gloomy dealer Penabranca – and whatever the paths that led them there, converge on the Lines of Torres Vedras, where the final battle will decide the fate of each one of them.
And now, a few words about that great cast from the beginning. The movie stars John Malkovich, Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, Mathieu Amalric, Marisa Paredes, Chiara Mastroianni, Melvil Poupaud, Michel Piccoli, Nuno Lopes, Ricardo Pereira, Vincent Perez and Miriam Heard.
Let us know what you think about this story so far, and stay tuned for more!