About a year and a half ago I carried out an interview with Marta Raposo, a Portuguese-Canadian fado singer, for a project on the return to Portugal of Portuguese emigrant descendants. Marta's story and reflections on her return experience were very interesting, so much so that I decided to approach my fellow CEMRI, Universidade Aberta researcher and filmmaker António Saraiva (his works include: Gente de Fajãs, Orlando Ribeiro, among others) with the idea of filming Marta. After selling the idea on António, we appraoched Marta to see if she'd be interested in being films for a possible documentary, only to find out that she was contemplating another return, back to Montreal, Canada. This added a new twist to the story, one we definitely wanted to capture. We filmed Marta for nearly two months, leading up to her departure.
We are now happy to show the fruits of our labour in the form of Regressa Urgente (Return Urgente), a documentary on the the final days of a dream chasing emigrant descendant returnee in Portugal.
Here's the film's synopsis:
Marta Raposo emigrated to Montreal, Canada with her parents at the age of 9. Possessing an enormous passion for singing and the Portuguese language, at the age of 16 she initiated her musical career, becoming the lead singer of a Portuguese popular music group. Early on, however, Marta quickly discovered that her true musical love lied not in popular music, but instead, in the 'Portuguese national song' - fado. Thus, at the age 18, Marta stepped on stage at the Portuguese Club of Montreal to perform fado for the first time, never to look back. Since that performance - with every song, with every ovation, with every word of encouragement - her passion for the 'Portuguese national song' grew, as did her ambitions. As a result, in 2005, after 8 years of singing fado in Canada, Marta set out to accomplish a dream - to record and launch an album and make it in the world of fado in Portugal.
We catch up with Marta 5 years after her arrival in Portugal. After numerous adventures in the Portuguese fado world, including the launch of her first album in 2009, we follow her steps, observe her relationships and capture her last performances. We collect her thought, her doubts and regrets, exploring her sense of belonging and the reasons for once again emigrating, revealing that not even the strongest desires are enough to sustain this 'fadista' (fado singer) in the 'land of fado'.
And so now it's our goal to get the film out to as many people as we can. The first official showing will take place in Toronto at York University Wednesday, Oct. 12th at 17:00 (http://porcansymposium.eventbrite.com/). Future showings will be posted. Any questions, suggestions, or simply interested in finding out more, please let us know either here on the blog or on our facebook page.