Private Project


Synopsis: With the demolition of Quinta da Vitória neighborhood (Lisbon. Portugal), our film aims to create a living archive of the history and memory of its inhabitants, as well as to mobilize an intervention in their representation in the city. The film is focused on the daily life of an older couple descendant of an Indian family, who emigrated from Mozambique, a former colony of Portugal, to Lisbon in the 1970s. The husband and wife both work out of their home in the neighborhood. As tailors, they both have a close relationship with the other inhabitants, and they are especially integrated into the Hindu community that lives in this neighborhood.

  • Suzanne Barnard
  • Sofia Borges
  • Suzanne Barnard
  • Sofia Borges
  • Suzanne Barnard
  • Sofia Borges
  • Puspavantibai Valgi
    Key Cast
  • Amarchande Otomchande
    Key Cast
  • Ila Lalgi
    Key Cast
  • Don Maue
  • António Gadanho
  • Rafael Abreu-Canedo
  • Irmã Lucia
    Credits Design
  • Rafael Abreu-Canedo
    Title Design
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Short
  • Runtime:
    25 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    December 30, 2015
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    Gujarati, Portuguese
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Indie Lisboa / International Film Festival
    April 30, 2016
    Portugal Premiere
    Award Brand New
  • Olhares do Mediterrâneo
    October 2, 2016
  • São Tomé FestFilm
    São Tomé
    Sao Tome and Principe
    February 19, 2017
    Sao Tome and Principe premiere
  • Annual CPH Film Festival
    Denmark premiere
    Cinematography nomination
  • MiradasDoc
    January 30, 2017
  • Cinemigrante
    Buenos Aires
    October 16, 2016
    Argentina premiere
  • Silk Screen Film Festival
    United States
    September 22, 2016
    United States premiere
  • XII Extremadoc /Documentry International Film Festival
    December 1, 2016
    Spain premire
    Award Transfrontera (portuguese prodution)
Distribution Information
  • Sofia Borges and Suzanne Barnard
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Suzanne Barnard , Sofia Borges

Suzanne Barnard is Associate Professor of Psychology at Duquesne University, a filmmaker, and a licensed clinical psychologist. She received her Ph. D. in Clinical Psychology from Loyola University of Chicago, and completed postdoctoral studies at Georgetown University. She is coeditor,
with Bruce Fink, of Reading Seminar XX: Lacan’s Major Work on Love, Knowledge, and Feminine Sexuality, and has published widely on Lacanian, French feminist, and Foucauldian approaches to the body and subjectivity. She also writes in film theory (focused on Deleuzean approaches to cinema, affect and subjectivity), and has presented on the film work of Pedro Costa, Ben Russell, and John Akomfrah. Her research engages psychology, philosophy, film, and ethnography, and she has taught courses on Deleuze and collaborative aesthetics, on psychology, migration and “slow cinema,” and on the posthuman in science fiction film. She received a grant from Duquesne’s Center for African Studies to create a course on global identities and African cinema, in tandem with which she curated an African Film Series in Spring 2015. She has been a video consultant for The REP Professional Theatre Company (Pittsburgh). Her film work has been supported by the Heinz Foundation, Binaural Media, the Women and Girls Foundation and Duquesne University. She is recently the recipient, along with Christopher McCann, of an NEH Endowment Grant for a film project now in preproduction (working title: “Breath and Folding: An Ethnographic Film on Cosmologies of Air, Light, and Space”).

Sofia Borges is a researcher and visual artist. She works in relation to local communities, politics and in the media of installation and film. She studied Painting and Sculpture at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Lisbon and Ar.Co. She received her M.F.A. in Curatorial Studies from the University of Lisbon, where she focused on the collaborative process in the visual arts and film. Beginning in 2006, she worked in the Quinta da Vitória neighborhood of Lisbon (until its final demolition in 2014), where she coordinated and performed research, documentation and artistic projects, involving the local residents and other disciplines, including Anthropology, Cinema, Architecture and Botany. “A Festa Acabou”/ “The Party is Over” project worked on the imagination and narrative created by the inhabitants and the public space. She showed this project in Quinta da Vitória’s neighborhood with the support of its inhabitants, as well as in the “Underconstrution” exhibition commissioned by Mónica Miranda and Paul Goodwin. During the neighborhood’s demolition, she started the “Colecção Jardins da Vitória”/ “Vitory Gardens Collection,” a collaborative, public art installation located near this neighborhood. This installation was created with trees and plants donated by the residents of the Quinta da Vitória. Her work has been supported by the ÁFRICA.Cont (2015), Duquesne University (- 2015), Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (2013), Municipality of Loures (2012-13), DGA- Ministry of Culture (2008), Municipality of Oliveira do Hospital (2008) and the Orient Foundation (2001).

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Director Statement

Directors’ statement: Our collaborative film practice recognizes that a film does not represent a simple “document” of a pre-existing reality, but that it realizes a history, an archive, through the collective and/or aggregate participation of those involved in its production. (For example, in the case of our work in Quinta da Vitória, this process engaged various participants whose cultural notions of time –“everyday time,”“life-span” and “cosmological time”– were different; among other things, these differences impacted participants’ understandings of and investments in personal memory and in narrative reconstructions of ‘past’ events.) Hence, a collaborative film practice must develop means (e. g., aesthetic, interpersonal, technological) for realizing this simultaneously improvisational, hybrid, and (potentially) temporally and historically profound process in the material reality of the film itself.

Historical context of the film: We began with an interest in the unique geography and history of Quinta da Vitoria, a neighborhood located in Portela, on the outskirts of Lisbon, Portugal. We became focused on the daily life of the neighborhood ́s inhabitants, as well as the impact of its demolition on their lives. The neighborhood was first developed in the 1960s by persons from the interior of Portugal, and from Africa and India (many of the latter of whom were from former Portuguese colonies). In the late 90s, a significant number of immigrants again came to Quinta da Vitoria to work in the rebuilding of the eastern part of Lisbon. At that time there were about 5,000 people living in the neighborhood. In 1993, the civic government implemented the P.E.R. (Special Rehousing Plan). Although the demolition of the neighborhood began in the late 90s, it was only finally demolished in 2014. Some residents were relocated in social housing located on the outskirts of Lisbon. Residents of the neighborhood who did not live in Quinta da Vitória before 1993 were generally not offered alternative housing. Many persons in the neighborhood’s Hindu community chose to return to India or to move to England. Today the neighborhood is an empty space, marked only by some trees originally planted by the residents.