If you click 48 on this site, you will have numerous hits. The film of Susana de Sousa Dias has been given many postings for its innovative, artistic exploration of the documentary language. It was one of the first films to be reserved for the 7th edition of the Magnificent7 festival here in Belgrade. It had to be shown at a festival that carries the name ”magnificent”.
At a masterclass for young filmmakers and art students the filmmaker brilliantly analysed her work of making the film during many years. She had met some of the characters in connection with her previous film, Still Life, also about the dark years of the Salazar regime, a film without words, where 48 (the number of years that the dictatorship existed) is based on words, i.e. the touching verbal memories of the tortured in Portugal and in the Portuguese colonies in Africa.
de Sousa Dias constantly used the expression ”to get inside the shot” through the use of reframing, slow motion of the images, and fade-out’s and fade-in’s. The faces change via the use of tiny camera movements when the filming is done. She explained how she had done the interviews with the prisoners, and had spent hours and weeks in the editing of the words to find the liniarity and homogene tone that makes the film so extraordinary. In many cases she is keeping small sighs as sound accompanied by the original background sound from when the interviews were made. Her brother, a composer, helped her create the space, including the silences, that made the film a FILM.
For professional gatherings and film schools who want to have a fascinating look into the world of filmmaking, I can only recommend you to book Susana de Sousa Dias and her films for exciting lecturing and brilliant films.