Celebrated Portuguese auteur João Pedro Rodrigues (To Die Like a Man) enlists a group of musclemen for this brilliant and idiosyncratic inquiry into his country’s centuries-old fascination with the legendary king Afonso Henriques.
The King's Body
João Pedro Rodrigues
Playing as part of Un Conte de Michel de Montaigne and The King's Body and Redemption
In O Corpo de Afonso, João Pedro
Rodrigues launches a brilliant and idiosyncratic
inquiry into Portugal's centuries-old
fascination with the country's first king,
Afonso Henriques, stories of whose purportedly
gigantic body and colossal sword
have provided ready-made iconography for
generations of later rulers. (Salazar himself
adopted Afonso's mythic image as a key
ideological prop for his regime.) Enlisting
a group of musclemen, employing stripped-down
(pun intended) means, combining contorted figures with lurid colours worthy
of Ingres and evoking issues of class and
sexuality along the way, Rodrigues brings
new meaning to the term "cinematic corpus"
in his attempt to find a fresh form for
this national myth at a critical juncture in
the country's present.