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We’ve worked with Grasshopper Film, the distributor of VITALINA VARELA, to make it possible for you to see the film — and your ticket helps support the Belcourt.

For $12, you can purchase a ticket for VITALINA VARELA — and you’ll have a 3-day / 72-hour window to watch it. (Note: You’ll need to create an account with Grasshopper Film to pay for your ticket, but no monthly or annual subscription is needed.)

Grasshopper Film will share a portion of your ticket payment with the Belcourt. Please note that this arrangement, in these unprecedented times, means we’re unable to offer member pricing. Thanks for your understanding and support. And if you’d like to consider an additional donation to the Belcourt, we’d be most grateful. You can do so here.

Note: VITALINA VARELA is watchable on your computer, phone or tablet, or a bigger screen with Chromecast or a Smart TV. (For more details on watching on a bigger screen, see our FAQs here.)

Playing herself in an extraordinary performance based on her own life, Vitalina Varela marries her first love, Joaquim, and spends her life working the land in the mountains of the Island of Santiago, in the Cape Verde archipelago off West Africa. In 1977, Joaquim journeys to Portugal seeking work alongside other island men. Like all the village girls, Vitalina remains behind waiting and longing for a happy family life with him and their two children. Joaquim buys a shack in the suburbs of Lisbon with his first savings and promises to send for her. They lose touch. Rumors swirl. Thirty-five years later, Vitalina finally arrives—three days after his funeral. Isolated and struggling to survive illegally, she answers a knock on her door and comes face to face with filmmaker Pedro Costa.

Winner of the Golden Leopard for Best Film and Best Actress at the Locarno Film Festival.

“It’s essential cinema.” —Glenn Kenny, Critic’s Pick, New York Times 

"Costa has made his most beautiful, haunting film yet. Vitalina is extraordinary." —Nicolas Rapold, Film Comment

"A plaintive and piercingly beautiful vision... Pedro Costa is one of our planet’s two or three greatest living filmmakers." —Christopher Small, Sight & Sound

“...One of the most thought-provoking international features to debut in quite some time.” —Jonathan Christian, The Playlist

“Gorgeously photographed. Has a conceptual rigor comparable to the films of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet and a visual beauty that evokes Rembrandt." —J. Hoberman, New York Review of Books

The Belcourt Theatre does not provide advisories about subject matter or potential triggering content, as sensitivities vary from person to person.

Beyond the synopses, trailers and review links on our website, other sources of information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense MediaIMDb and as well as through general internet searches.

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