Os Verdes Anos (The Green Years)

Paulo Rocha

Paulo Rocha’s debut feature The Green Years, gloriously shot in black and white, is an extraordinary and haunting coming-of-age tale. Nineteen-year-old Julio heads to Lisbon from the provinces and gets a job as a shoemaker for his uncle Raul. But when he meets Ilda, a confident young housemaid who becomes a regular shop visitor, the two begin a tentative romance until the realities of the outside world come crashing through.

Widely considered the founding text of the New Portuguese Cinema, Rocha’s film reflected a new attitude in the wake of post-Salazar modernization of urban life in the 1960s. Rocha subverts melodramatic conventions by avoiding easy psychology or clearly defined goals, and favors mise-en-scène over narrative, reflecting a country at odds with its national character. Through its modernity, content and direction, this film opened new horizons for Portuguese cinema.


Portuguese spoken, English subtitles

Digital restoration by and courtesy of Cinemateca Portuguesa