The Past and the Present | Chicago Reader

The Past and the Present

The most stylistically conventional film in the career of veteran avant-gardist Manoel de Oliveira is also his only comedy (though it is a very black one). Based on a text by playwright Vincente Sanches, the film is set in the sprawling mansion of a wealthy Portuguese family, where the matriarch (Marie de Saisset) is just congratulating herself on having driven her second husband to suicide. But no sooner has she shed him than husband number one returns, apparently from the dead (1972).

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