In his third feature film Gomes playfully interprets and rearranges historical events: The period leading into the outbreak of the Portuguese Colonial War fought between Portugal's military and the nationalist movements in Portugal's African colonies.
Freshly retired, Pilar is busy putting the world in order and helping people. She mostly concerns herself with her lonely neighbour Aurora, a temperamental, eccentric 80-year-old addicted to antidepressants and gambling, who keeps talking about her alienated daughter and accuses her dark-skinned servant, Santa, of practising black magic. When the dying Aurora wants to see a man called Gian Luca Ventura, Pilar and Santo unlock the secret of her past. Ventura, who had a tacit agreement with Aurora, tells them of an episode from her past: a tale of love and crime set half a century ago in an Africa straight from the world of adventure films.
»Tabu is a film about the passage of time, about things that disappear and can only exist as memory, phantasmagoria, imagery – or as cinema, which summons and congregates all that. There is a massive ellipsis in the film, we go back fifty years. We go from the time of old age to youth, from the time of hangover and guilt to the time of excesses, from a post-colonial society to the time of colonialism. It’s a film about things that are extinguished: a person who dies, an extinguished society, a time that can only exist in the memory of those who lived it.«
- Miguel Gomes
Born in 1972 in Lisbon. He studied Cinema at the Lisbon Theatre and Film School. Between 1996 and 2004 Gomes worked as a film critic for the Portuguese press. Since 1999 he has made several shorts, which have garnered attention at numerous film festivals. His second feature film, Our Beloved Month of August, which premiered at the Cannes FF, received several international film festival awards.
1999 Entretanto (Meanwhile) (short)
2000 Inventário de Natal (A Christmas Inventory) (short)
2002 31 (31 Means Troubles) (short)
2002 Kalkitos (short)
2004 A Cara que Mereces (The Face You Deserve)
2006 Cántico das criaturas (Canticle of All Creatures) (short)
2008 Aquele Querido Mês de Agosto (Our Beloved Month of August)