Corvo – The Smallest Azores Island in Movies

It’s never easy to get to Corvo Island. It´s the most isolated point in Europe and the most inaccessible, located on the western extremity of the Azorean Islands – Portugal, in mid Atlantic Ocean.

Since the beginning of the human colonization in Corvo until the end of the 20th century, this island lived secluded and totally self-dependent. A closed agricultural community with ancestral rituals and codes but open to the sea. Historical are the stories about their relationships, economical and social, with the sailors and the pirates that sailed around the coast of the island. The state of Portugal was distant, the world for Corvo was the international sea trade and Corvo was in the center of that trade.

Acores-1A cameraman and a soundman arrived in Corvo in 2007, the smallest island in the archipelago of the Azores. Right in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, Corvo is a large rock, 6km high and 4km long, with the crater of a volcano and a single tiny village of 440 people. Gradually, this small filming crew was accepted by the island’s population as its new inhabitants, two people to add to a civilization almost 500 years old, whose history is hardly discernible, such is the lack of records and written memories.

Shot at a vertiginous pace throughout a few years, self‐produced between arrivals, departures and coming‐backs, “It’s the Earth not the Moon” develops as the logbook of a ship, and turns out as a patchwork of discoveries and experiences, which follow the contemporary life of a civilization isolated in the middle of the sea.

A long atlantic film‐odissey that combines anthropological records, literature, lost archives, mythological and autobiographical stories. Portuguese director Goncalo Tocha’s movie “It’s the Earth Not the Moon” (www.naterranaonalua.com) will be featured at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria NY), on Sunday January 8th.

The film won several awards in 2011:

Official Selection:

Festival Internacional de Cinema de Lisboa

Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival

Vancouver International Film Festival

Valdivia International Film Festival

Vienna International Film Festival

Winner:

Festival Locarno

Prize for Best Feature Film in International Competition – Lisboa

(Courtesy: PortugueseCircle.com/news)

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Maria Alsheikh says:

    Wow, a multi-awards winning documentary on Corvo that’s going to be shown at the San Francisco International Film Festival April 19-May 3, 2012. Way to go Goncalo Tocha, the filmmaker.
    Ciao
    Maria

  2. peter boffey says:

    I am writing this while still under the influence, of having just seen the film at the SF Film Festival, that is. Perhaps just because it is particular in its intentions, the film is universal in its import. Touching, authentic, informative, curious — an aesthetically gratifying work of art. Documentary is sensitive yet unpretentious. Excellent cinematography and editing, too. Compares favorably to classics such as Flaherty’s Hebrides Island semi-doc, Chabrol’s Cheval d’Orgueil, Ophuls’ Chagrin et Pitie, and various works of Agnes Varda. Genuine film-making in a human universe. Congratulations!

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