Miguel Gomes, Maureen Fazendeiro / Portugal / 2021 / 102 min

Playful, Portuguese meta-film, told like a diary in reverse from three friends’ holiday in a country house. An imaginative, colourful and floral postcard from the summer when the world stood still.

Three friends spend the summer in a deserted country house in Sintra, where they build a butterfly cage in the garden and hang out under the sun. It sounds simple and straightforward, but ‘The Tsugua Diaries’ is not just one of the most laid-back films made during the pandemic. It is also one of the more mischievous and playful. Maureen Fazendeiro and Miguel Gomes (‘Arabian Nights’) let their rambunctious meta-film from the lockdown unfold like a diary written backwards, to a score composed entirely of the Northern Soul classic ‘The Night’, while the walls of illusion constantly threaten to topple.