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Directed by Ricardo Costa
Produced by RC filmes
Written by Ricardo Costa
Starring Ricardo Costa, the "hero"
Cinematography Ricardo Costa
Distributed by RCfilmes
Release date
Running time
78 min.
Country Portugal
Language Portuguese

Mists (Brumas) is a 2003 Portuguese independent feature-length film by Ricardo Costa, a docufiction. Nonlinear narrative, conceived as an auto-biography, it is a voyage to childhood.

Shot with no state funds (uncommon situation in Portuguese film production), self-financed, it is an art film. Formal simplicity[1] – associated with a non conventional, sober and fluid narrative[2][3][4] of Time and human condition – is common to most of Ricardo Costa’s films. For him, narrative involves necessarily mise-en-scène and that’s why documentary (real life) tends to turn into fiction. This tendency is fully assumed with Mists, the third Costa’s docufiction, after Changing Tides (1976) and Bread and Wine (1981).

Mists is the first film of a new sequel docufiction autobiographic trilogy, Faraways.[5] Drifts (Derivas), released in 2016, is the second and Cliffs (Arribas), in post-production, is the third one. The filmmaker stars the main roles in those films. Mists is set in Peniche, the protagonist's place of birth. Drifts is set in Lisbon, where he lives and works as photographer, and Cliffs again in Peniche, where he returns to face disquieting situations and puzzling characters.[6]

Mists premiered at the 60th Venice Film Festival (New Territories – 2003), was released in Portugal on 16 November 2006 and opened in New York at the Quad Cinema on March 23, 2011, event followed by other screenings outside the city.[7][8]

Maria José eighty years old
Maria José feeding her great-grandson David
The 'hero' offering a penknife to Rudolfo


Back to his birthplace (Peniche, a Portuguese fishermen town) more than fifty years after he saw Maria José, who used to be a maid at his parents’ house, when he was a child, the “hero” (the film director) meets her again in the summer of 2011. She is now a mother, grandmother and a great grandmother, with the sea embedded in her soul.

Reflecting what the hero’s eyes observe, the camera follows those steps, moves backwards, and then it lurches forward, suggesting a disquieting outcome of situations of these days, like those of the September 11. The boys who live around her tell the same story in a different way. To make that possible, all it takes is a flick-knife, a handsaw, a broom stick, bamboo canes, floaters from the sardine nets, a few magic tricks. (CIT. producer's release)



  • The hero – Ricardo Costa
  • The grandmother – Maria José
  • Her grandson – Rudolfo
  • Her grand grandson – David
  • Her daughters – Isabel, Beta
  • Her sons – Henrique, Paulo
  • Her friends – Maria Velha, Maria Joaquina, Maria Bernardina
  • The ancient prisoner – (in Portuguese) António Dias Lourenço [9]
  • The old photographer – Luis C. Peixoto
  • The hero’s friend – Isaura


  • Producer and director - Ricardo Costa (filmmaker)
  • Script – Ricardo Costa
  • Photography, camera, sound, editing – Ricardo Costa
  • Assistant director – Maria José Silva
  • Image assistant – Maria José Silva, Lígia Pereira, António A.B.C. Marques, António Maurício, Ricardo M. Costa
  • Editing assistant – João Brandão
  • Image supervisor – Vitor Estêvão a. i. p.
  • Sound editor – Ricardo Sequeira
  • Sound mixer – Jean-Paul Loublier[10]
  • Music - Manu Chao and Nuno Rebelo[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mists: Memory and Meaning in Peniche, Portugal – review by Michelle Orange, Village Voice, Mar 23 2011
  2. ^ Ricardo Costa and The Flowing Pictures – article by José de Matos-Cruz
  3. ^ Mists – review by Eric Monder at Film Journal, March 23, 2011
  4. ^ Mists – review by Diego Costa at SLANT, March 23, 2011
  5. ^ Faraways at the producer´s page
  6. ^ Cliffs at Faraways trilogy, producer’s page
  7. ^ Film screening and Q&A with director at Brown University, April 6, 2011
  8. ^ Screenig announced at Cable Car cinema Archived 2013-08-10 at the Wayback Machine. – News, Theater Profile: Cozy Flicks at Cable Car Cinema at New England Film, Thu, 06/30/2011 - 19:00
  9. ^ NYT article about a related political prison
  10. ^ Jean-Paul Loublier at NYT Movies
  11. ^ Nuno Rebelo (Azul Esmeralda and other themes) at the ballet school of Museu Municipal de Peniche Archived 2011-07-13 at the Wayback Machine. (Lifecooler)

External links[edit]