Ana Sofia Fonseca’s documentary about legendary Cape Verdean singer Cesária Évora reveals the complex woman behind the rich, deeply resonant voice that catapulted her to international fame at the age of 50. Using found archival film, historical photographs, old recordings, and concert footage, the film captures Évora’s incredible rise and does not turn away from her troubled childhood, decades of poverty, her struggles with drinking, and years-long bouts of depression. Instead, it presents these challenges with tenderness and care.
The film offers a rare glimpse into both her tragic and triumphant experiences, and features rare interviews with those closest to her. It also captures the singer’s mischievous humour, her love of Cabo Verde, her generosity to her community, and her extraordinary ability to translate emotion into melody. Masterfully edited and beautifully shot, the film is anchored in Évora’s morna songs, and the beautiful and melancholic landscape of her home island of São Vicente in Cabo Verde. Fascinating for both devotees and those discovering her for the very first time.
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Ana Sofia Fonseca
Ana Sofia Fonseca, Irina Calado
Cláudia Rita Oliveira
Ana Sofia Fonseca
Ana Sofia Fonseca is a natural storyteller. Born in Portugal, she lives with one foot in her home country and the other in Cabo Verde—she has a house two steps away from Cesária’s house. Évora is her second feature-length documentary, following an award-winning 20 year career in journalism, in which she worked on over 20 television documentaries, and published five nonfiction books and a novel. For years, she has dedicated herself to telling compelling stories with a focus on human rights themes—particularly stories about women rights and race issues.
Filmography: Setembro a vida inteira (2018)