Films byTexts by Pedro Costa

Pedro Costa (1958) is a Portuguese film director. Costa attended classes by poet and filmmaker António Reis at the Lisbon Theatre and Film School. He then worked as an assistant to Jorge Silva Melo, Vítor Gonçalves and João Botelho. His directorial debut was O Sangue [Blood] (1989). His later work is dedicated to documenting the lives of the inhabitants of Fontaínhas, a neighbourhood on the outskirts of Lisbon, many of whom are immigrants from Cape Verde. These works include No quarto da Vanda [In Vanda’s Room] (2000), Juventude em Marcha [Colossal Youth] (2006), Cavalo dinheiro [Money Horse] (2014), which was awarded the Leopard for Best Director in 2014, and the more recent Vitalina Varela (2019), which was awarded the Gold Leopard for Best Film, both at the Locarno Film Festival.

In Vanda’s Room
Pedro Costa, 2000, 170’

Pedro Costa’s longest and most challenging film is also the one in which he most fully discovers his present method (shooting beautifully composed tableaux without camera movement in digital video, with scripted dialogue) and subject matter (immigrants from Cape Verde and junkies, all nonprof

Pedro Costa, 2001, 104’

Undaunted by a commission to make a film about his mentors and aesthetic exemplars, the filmmaking team of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, Costa records with great sensitivity and insight the exacting process by which the two re-edit their film Sicilia!, discussing and arguing over eac

Colossal Youth
Pedro Costa, 2006, 156’

Ventura, a Cape Verdean laborer living in the outskirts of Lisbon, is suddenly abandoned by his wife Clotilde. Ventura feels lost between the dilapidated old quarter where he spent the last 34 years and his new lodgings in a recently-built low-cost housing complex.

Horse Money
Pedro Costa, 2014, 103’

“So we make films on high seas. And as we do not have a book of laws, we work in a very dark area, which is memory, because our material is memory.”

Pedro Costa


Pedro Costa, 2019, 124’

Vitalina Varela, 55-year-old, Cape Verdean, arrives in Lisbon three days after her husband’s funeral. She's been waiting for her plane ticket for more than 25 years.