New documentary on Portuguese history
A documentary on the history of the Portuguese and how they came to Bermuda is due to be released at the end of this month after ten years of work.
Milton Raposo, a Bermudian film-maker of Portuguese ancestry, said the film, Fabric: Portuguese History in Bermuda, starts in the Middle Ages and explores the culture and heritage of the Portuguese.
Mr Raposo said film project was born out of curiosity about his own roots.
He explained: “There is a very base-level knowledge of the community that gets passed down through generations which eventually gets watered down or broad-stroked.
“I wanted to learn more and so I took it upon myself to find out and turn it into a film.”
Mr Raposo said: “The film starts in the Middle Ages, goes into the European migrations, to the first Madeirans to arrive in Bermuda in 1849 to the 20th-century injustices the community experienced such as family separations and job discrimination.
“As for culture, it’s really religion that is the main cultural focus for the Portuguese and so there is a great section on what religion and faith means to the Portuguese — not just Catholic, but also the evangelical faith, too.
“There is a beautiful sequence I shot in May during the Santo Cristo festa in the Azores.”
Produced by Mr Raposo’s Method Media Bermuda, the film is 100 minutes long. Mr Raposo said that he had not planned on the release of the film this year, but was spurred on by the celebration of the 170th anniversary of the arrival of the first Portuguese immigrants in Bermuda and yesterday’s public holiday to honour the event.
Mr Raposo researched, wrote, shot and edited most of the film himself and carried out about 25 interviews, including some in Portugal.
The film includes interviews with Isaura Reis, a former immigration inspector, Anthony Correia, a former United Bermuda Party MP, Manuel Medeiros, former Bermuda resident, Gilberto Pavao, folklorist, Fernandina Amaral, wife of the late farmer Joseph Amaral, and author and historian Patricia Marirea Mudd.
Mr Raposo said he had enjoyed the creation of the documentary.
“It’s been a very revealing exercise for me to learn what the Portuguese mean to Bermuda.
“The Portuguese occupy a very special space in Bermuda’s history. It’s very peculiar in a way because there is no other emphasis on any other nationality like Bermuda had, and still does have, on the Portuguese.
“And the reasons as to why the Portuguese left their homes for a strange land, I hope, reveals something about them to the larger Bermudian audience.”
• Tickets for the premiere on November 27 sold out. There will be a second screening on Saturday, November 30 at 2pm at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute. Tickets are free and can be booked at www.bdatix.bm
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