The Daughters of Fire

As Filhas do Fogo

PORTUGAL / 2023 / Cape Verdean Creole / Color / DCP / 8 min

- Director: Pedro Costa
Photography: Leonardo Simões
Editing: Vítor Carvalho
Sound: Hugo Leitão
Grading: Gon alo Ferreira
Cast: Elizabeth Pinard, Alice Costa, Karyna Gomes
Producer: Marta Mateus
Production Company, Source: Clarão Companhia   www.clarao-companhia.com

Three young sisters are separated by the volcanic eruption of Fogo in Cape Verde. But they sing: one day, we will know why we live and why we suffer.

[Director’s Statement] The Daughters of Fire, this short film, was born from the stage oratorio I’ve been working on since 2018 with these three marvelous singers and the ancient music ensemble Os Músicos do Tejo. It’s an old dream of mine, to take a final step and plunge into music . . . But it takes a lot of courage and a bit of unconsciousness. We’ll see . . . And to lend me a strong hand, no better companion than Jean-Luc Godard!

Pedro Costa

Born in Lisbon. Studied at the Lisbon Theatre and Film School under poet and director António Reis. His first feature film, O Sangue (1989), was screened at the Venice International Film Festival. He shot Casa de Lava (1994) and Ossos (1997) in Cabo Verde. In Vanda’s Room (2000, Mayor’s Prize at YIDFF 2001) won awards at Locarno and Cannes, and was released theatrically. Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie? (2001), a documentary on filmmaker Strobe-Huillet, was followed by Colossal Youth (2006). He was a member of the International Competition Jury at YIDFF 2007. Horse Money (2014) won the Robert and Frances Flaherty Prize at YIDFF 2015. Vitalina Varela (2019) won the Golden Leopard and Best Actress Award at the Locarno International Film Festival.

The Power of Speech

Puissance de la parole

FRANCE / 1988 / French / Color / DCP / 25 min

- Director, Script, Editing: Jean-Luc Godard
Photography: Pierre Binggeli, Caroline Champetier
Sound: François Musy, Pierre-Alain Besse, Marc-Antoine Beldent
Cast: Jean Bouise, Laurence Côte, Lydia Andrei, Jean-Michel Iribarren
Production Companies: France Télécom, JLG Films, Gaumont

A man and a woman speak on the phone about infidelity and murder in dialogue quoted from James M. Cain’s hard-boiled novel The Postman Always Rings Twice. Another man and woman converse in the lines of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Power of Words”—famous for having been translated into French by Baudelaire: “ . . . did there not cross your mind some thought of the physical power of words?” This work, an exploration of the possibilities of video media that makes a collage of a variety of art including Bob Dylan, J.S. Bach, and Picasso, is one of the video works to which Godard had dedicated himself since the 1970s. It saw its unveiling in the same period as Histoire(s) du Cinéma, Chapter 1A: Toutes les histoires.

The programming of this work for this screening was realized at the suggestion of director Pedro Costa.

Jean-Luc Godard

Born Paris, 1930. After working as a film critic, mainly for “Cahiers du Cinéma,” he released his first feature film, À bout de souffle, in 1960. The films that followed, including Vivre sa vie (1962), were described as part of the French nouvelle vague (“New Wave”) along with the works of Truffaut and others, influencing filmmakers around the world. His films include La Chinoise (1967), Sauve qui peut (la vie) (1980), Histoire(s) du cinéma (1988–1998), Notre musique (2004), and Le Livre d’image (2018). Passed away in September 2022. His last film, Film annonce du film qui n’existera jamais: “Drôles de guerres” (2023), was screened at the 2023 Cannes International Film Festival.