Miguel Gonçalves Mendes spent four years with Nobel Prize for Literature winner José Saramago and his wife, Pilar del Rio, times out of which he shaped one of the most beautiful, complete and sensitive films the Portuguese cinema has ever seen. That is José and Pilar, a 125-minute documentary that strewed all over the world in film festivals and that has recently inspired a popular movement asking the Portuguese Institute of Cinema to pick it up for the country's submission for the Academy Awards' Best Foreign Movie categorie.
Although in film one shall never consider the closing of a cycle, for each film sprawls itself throughout the history, this project is actually coming to a point of recognized accomplishment and well deserved sense of fulfillment. And within the next months, because we still have to wait to see how it goes (if it goes) in the other side of the Atlantic, it is time for new adventures.
"It is the most cinematic of José Saramago's novels, the one with the adequate structure for film." states Miguel seconds after announcing he's preparing the adaptation of The Gospel According to Jesus Christ in a production with an international cast and crew, still unannounced.
"This film is about how cruel the mankind can reach, whether it is because of power, money, relationships or some god.". Among the other homonyms adaptations of the writers work we count George Sluizer's La Balsa de Piedra (2002), Meirelles' Blindness (2008) and António Ferreira's Embargo (2010).