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IFFAM Project Market
Letters from War

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Letters from War (Cartas da guerra)

Directed by Ivo Ferreira

  • Portugal 2016; 105 min
  • Original version: Portuguese
  • Genre: Fiction
    • Best Feature Film, Best Adapted Script, Best Sound, Best Edition, Best Photography - Caminhos FF

  • Berlin IFF
    Portugal's submission for the Academy Awards

  • From the director of PROJECTO GLOBAL presented at IFFAM Project Market


1971. António Lobo Antunes life is brutally interrupted when he is drafted into the Portuguese Army to serve as a doctor in one of the worst zones of the Colonial War – the East of Angola. Away from everything dear he writes letters to his wife while he is immersed in an increasingly violent setting. While he moves between several military posts he falls in love for Africa and matures politically. At his side, an entire generation struggles and despairs for the return home. In the uncertainty of war events, only the letters can make him survive.

Director's Statement

Portuguese Cinema mirrors the silence to which Portuguese society has condemned a traumatic period of its recent history: 40 years after the end of the Colonial War the filmography dealing with it is scarce. LETTERS FROM WAR presents itself as a narrative fictional project that goes beyond the limits of a documentary approach, and is also rooted in a unique biographical object: the letters that António Lobo Antunes wrote to his wife during the two years (1971-1973) that he served with the Portuguese Army in Angola. LETTERS FROM WAR is the result of a vast research based on interviews with war veterans, the gathering of documents, iconography and music about the war and the period. We believe to have reached one of the goals of the project: to go beyond the narrative of a Portuguese army officer, to develop into a story that echoes the lives of a generation of Portuguese and Angolan people forever shaken by this tragedy.




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