Films

The Diary of Lucilia (2021)

"I'm sorry if I seem insistent, but I can't forget a big love"

 

Directed by João Costa Menezes

Genre: Musical

 

And it starts like this...

 

VIDAGO 1972. NIGHT. EXT

We are at the village festivities. The festival is colourful and filled with music.

There is folk dancing, thousands of pilgrims, tents, folk bands and fado.

On a stage, a folk band plays popular Portuguese music and hundreds of people dance, lifting up dust .

A group of young people dressed in folk costumes dance, very happy.

A young man watches with particular interest a young woman on that group. She looks at him and they smile at each other.
 

 

The young man and the young woman are now running on a street. He chases her; she challenges him.

 

LUCÍLIA and MARCELO, the two young couple, are now dancing alone, on a street far from the festivities. We can still hear the music. It's a joyfull music, but they are dancing tight, at a slower tempo. He has a photographic camera hanged by his neck.

 

MARCELO

                                           A kiss, Cila, it's all I ask.

 

LUCÍLIA

                                           It's too soon for that, Marcelo. And even... I don't know if I want.

 

MARCELO grabs LUCÍLIA by the waist and holds her against a wooden gate.

 

MARCELO

                                           Now hold still...

                                           You're beautiful and I can, when I'm gone, kiss the photo as many times as I want...

     

LUCÍLIA poses in front of the gate.

The photo will be black & white, but MARCELO will always remember the colour of LUCÍLIA and everything about that day.

Driven by passion, and in that clima of joyfullness, it would be very difficult to resist. But it wouldnt be then that the lips and the tongues of the two lovers would meet.

The words of the Director

It wasn’t the fact that UNESCO has declared Fado World Heritage that made me want to do a Fado musical. It was simply the passion that I have always felt for musicals, for the Portuguese culture, for Fado in particular and for the Portuguese cinema of the golden ages of the 30’s and the 40’s (even though they were mainly comedy, they always included a lot of musical elements in them, namely Fado and Marchas).

 

In this movie, a musical period drama, we will try to recreate as faithfully as we can the different decades (from the 60’s to these days). For that, we will use archive footage and the colours of the film will vary according to the decade represented in each segment.

 

We will use well known traditional fados so that the audience can sing-a-long, and some originals, particularly in the choreographed scenes in the streets. We have a fabulous cast with top fado singers and some very talented and experienced actors from the stage musicals, such as Madalena Alberto (from the West End theatres - amongst others, she did Fame, Chicago, Zorro, Les Miserables, Zekyll and Hyde, Piaf, Evita, Cats and The War of the Worlds) and Flavio Gil.

 

The love story, two lovers that get together so many years later; the love that beats everything;  the performance of the wonderful fadistas; the intense songs, they will all turn this film into a memorable and unforgettable event for the public, lover or not of Fado.

 

João Costa Menezes 

The story

A love story set in the end of the 60’s, in the small north east rural village of Vidago (that we will recreate as faithful as we can in those days).

Marcelo and Lucília are 19-20 years old. Their romance is interrupted with the arrival of a new medical doctor in the village. The doctor was going to Chaves, the big city nearby, but when he saw Lucília at the window he decided to get out of the train right there and change his destiny. She was that beautiful...

Her parents were delighted with the prospect of having a doctor in the family, rather than a foolish boy that dreamed of being a fado singer, and the three of them arranged a scheme to prevent Marcelo to see Lucília again: using Lucília’s health condition (she got the flu), they put her in “quarantine”. Absolutely no visits allowed, except the doctor, which from then on started to live in the house. Forced out of her life, without understanding why, and watching one night her figure in her bedroom, holding and kissing the figure of a man, Marcelo eventually left the village, broken hearted, and moved to Lisbon with Benjamin, a friend who played the Portuguese guitar.

Lucília marries the doctor. Years later they move to New York with their kids. Their marriage slowly dies.

Marcelo, now an accomplished fado singer, on tour in the US sees her one day in the streets of NYC. He follows her and finds out where she lives...