REVOLUTION 1975. PT. 11 min

a film by Ana Hatherly

First shown at the Venice Biennale in 1976, the 1975 film Revolution is part of this group of short films. Filmed with a Super 8 camera on the streets of Lisbon, in the aftermath of the 25 April revolution, it documents the political posters, graffiti and revolutionary murals that were inscribed on the walls of the city.

Text by Fátima Rolo Duarte

«We are always telling each other things»,
Maria Gabriela Llansol, Lisboaleipzig 1 - o encontro inesperado do diverso


The speed of each image sewn together with the speed of each image in the blink of an eye. For what is worth, memory remains intact after all. The walls turn outwards, emerge from the darkness, vibrate. Sound accompanies things, signs, seemingly disordered fragments. Ana Hatherly is the director-weaver of this monument in honor of the immediate 25th of April. Alive, crazy and praised for its vertiginous editing, "incoactive mosaics”, to use a felicitous expression by Marie-José Mondzain. And this is where we find ourselves: the images fit together and are resurrected in their fragility, and yet they disturb the eye and it wouldn't be too much to say that they are disturbing, now, because of the lived and the vivid. And how delicate were what we'll call Hatherly's "attrapées". In the whirlwind of sounds, the "attrapées" parade down to the black cloth. We won’t know if it's mourning, there's no concern to mark it. Looking at that moment from this distance, it is possible, for those who wish, to relive the joys, to breathe in everything that Hatherly shows to the rhythm of every heart. It’s not cinema in sight, but an enormous love story, "things" that the director tells us or gives us. Whatever. You can guess life, death and life again. A cycle of happiness for those who arrived here and a misery of soul for those who fled Portugal. And thus explains how yesterday and today have resulted in the word Always.


Some people call it "pure documentary" to assess the value of a diamond. The more colorless it is, the greater the clarity of what is rare and precious. There are those who imagine that it is possible to look at this documentary by director António Campos and defend the "ethnography of safeguarding" because, insofar as "everything passes", the desire not to lose sight of time is the driving force. Is this the way forward? Yes, a collective where nothing and no one dissolves because Campos' marks run through the work. While life comes and goes, António Campos was Jean Rouch or vice versa, the higher truth in extraordinary images. Notice how the word revolution is integrated into Portuguese daily life; hammers and sickles quietly leaning against the more or less naïve, very militant symbols. The sentinel walls, the "cinema cell of the Portuguese Communist Party" that signs Campos' film and the not-so-coincidental choice of Fernando Lopes-Graça's intense "Symphony for Orchestra" give us one of the most interesting moments in documentary cinema based on ethnographic rhetoric. Thus, "Painted Walls of the Portuguese Revolution, 1976" is both a pamphlet of the past and a preview of the future where we are today: in the words of the poet Manuel Gusmão: "Against all evidence to the contrary, joy". This is the geography of the space where Ana meets António and the spectator meets the gaze, the visible and, above all, the invisible. Joy? Always!

We were all alive. The walls talked about what was new. The most important thing? Knowing everything about everything. From the street to the house, from the cinema to the theater, books, newspapers. At home I painted a small crossed hammer and sickle on the light switch in my chaotic bedroom, all the way to the Alentejo of endless roads, cycling through peach trees and letters written until they formed the names of those who picked up the pencil. I ate a lot of tomato rice. A lot of water from the jug, a lot of heat. I lived in excess without realizing anything about the future. A lot of movies at the Cinema Universal or at Quarteto where I took advantage of the break to get in without paying for a ticket, in an act of disobedience - the "profession" of any young person. Today, I only repeat that we were all alive because that's the truth I have left over from everything that has happened since that date: April 25th, 1974? Always!

Ana Hatherly, 1929-2015, director, teacher, poet, artist. Her work is vast and experimental, with the word being one of her primary subjects.

António Campos, 1922-1999, director, pioneer of Portuguese documentary cinema. One of the founders of the New Portuguese Cinema movement. Independent work, solitary path dedicated to cinematographic visual anthropology.

Manuel Gusmão, 1945-2023, poet and essayist, full professor. Communist Party activist.

Digitalization by Cinemateca Portuguesa - Museu do Cinema, under the scope of the Recovery and Resilience Plan. A measure integrated into the Next Generation EU program.

directing, image and editing ANA HATHERLY sound ALEXANDRE GONÇALVES