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One of the most ambitious and accomplished works by Portugal's premier filmmaker, Manoel de Oliveira—who turns 94 this month and is still fully active. Made in 1990, it contrives to tell the entire history of Portugal through a series of stories a Portuguese lieutenant uses to distract his colonial troops in Angola in 1973. This being Oliveira, you should expect the unexpected; the wordless opening sequence focuses on a massive tree. In Portuguese with subtitles. 110 min.

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