7 March 2013 | another_heavenly_world
The Principle of Wisdom
What an amazing accomplishment! A movie filmed during the most important year of Portuguese history of the 20th century, 1974. Deeply immersed in the realms of old tales, ancient lore and spiritual practices that last to this day in the innermost regions of Portugal, The Principle of Wisdom is a cultural milestone. Herein are registered some of the most essential traits of the ancient Portuguese soul. All put in contrast with the modern man, the overworked, overambitious, over-exhausted man that is the child of the 20th century. What a clash... And it all takes place in two or three essential places: 1. the big living room of the house, where light enters colored by stained glass, that further enlightens the peculiarities of the inside of man (feelings, emotions, thoughts); 2. the garden, the most central piece of all, where things are lost, retrieved, even the unexpected, the ludicrous, the surreal... and however meaningless anything seems, when revealed through a personal lens, we come to discover purpose, fulfillment, exaltation, achievement... 3. the ruins from ancient times, where we find that the grand human tragedy is a play revolving through the centuries with a big core that remains throughout as its central piece: the human soul and its quest.
All this said I will only add that direction and photography are excellent for the most part of the film (by the end I think it derails a little bit) and the script runs solid throughout. The acting is also very accomplished. If you ever get the chance to see it, don't miss it.