(Be)Longing (Volta à terra)

Written by sergio_costa on Sept. 4, 2021, 11:39 p.m.

The aim of Ecorustics is revealing rural Portugal to the rest of the world. We believe that it is important that millennials and the future generations have a general understanding about the life style of our ancestors and how it changed to the nowadays’ standard. The best way to understand the rural past is to get immersed by it in the countryside. Not only in Portugal but all around the globe. We focus on Portugal because it is the context that we know the best.

Visiting some traditional villages in Portugal can give you an immense insight about the past. It’s like visiting a museum in open space. The villages are revealing the history of generations. However, you have to hurry up to visit them because most of the rural places are being abandoned due to the rural exodus and only traces of an active past are left behind.

A new life is about to start… and in a natural way!

Back in 2014, João Pedro Plácido made a documentary called Volta à terra  – (Be)longing. In his documentary, João captured the dying traditions of an isolated hamlet in the northern mountains of Portugal – Uz. Similarly to Ecorustics, this 78 minutes documentary opens a window to the rural world.

This image from the movie reveals the mountainous landscape in the Northern Portugal, most likely a shot during the winter time. The enclosure of the land by stone walls was a very hard manual task. The granite stones are used to keep the soil as flat as possible. This facilitates irrigation and helps in maintaining the nutrients in the soil.

Volta à Terra tells the story of three generation of subsistence farmers during four seasons. This family lives in a mountainous village (Uz) nearly deserted due to emigration. Check out IMDB portal for more info.

If you want to know more about this movie or more Portuguese movies have a look here

My aim with this post is not to discuss or review the cinematography of the movie/documentary since it’s not my expertise. However, it’s my aim to point out that there is no scene in the movie that is not realistic. All the scenarios and dialogues could happen behind the camera in the exact same way. Finally, it is important to point out that this lifestyle is rapidly vanishing in Portugal. So hurry up to visit the remote villages in northern Portugal before the “museum” closes the doors.

More recently, some millennias that emigrate from Portugal looking for better life conditions, are also retuning to take care of the land as shown below

Let us know what you think on the comments and don’t forget to share to support us!

Published on Sept. 4, 2021, 11:39 p.m. by sergio_costa

Tags: landscape , uz , cinema


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