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Courtesy of Music Box Films

Law Building, Lower Level
1001 Bissonnet
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Directed by Raoul Ruiz

2010 in Portuguese and French with English subtitles


267 minutes



Mysteries of Lisbon

Mistérios de Lisboa

Part I: Friday, February 24, 7:00 p.m. (120 min.)

Part II: Saturday, February 25, 6:00 p.m. (147 min.)

The passing last August of legendary filmmaker Raoul Ruiz was mourned by critics, programmers, and cinephiles around the world. This film, his last to receive global distribution on the festival and art-house circuit, was called “the most glorious achievement of [his] prodigious career” by Film Comment. Epic in scope, it is a masterful adaptation of the eponymous nineteenth-century Portuguese novel by Camilo Castelo Branco, and 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 rejoin over three decades in Portugal, Spain, France, and Italy.