On 16 November RTP1 presented the film “Vizinhas” : a joyful tale of two grandmothers who recall the promises made at the end of their idyllic childhood to be “together for ever” even though they are destined to spend their adult lives apart. In the present, as elderly widows, they meet in the village where they grew up to face the wish of their families to place them in a nursing home where , by chance, there are resident two of the boys with whom they once shared their dreams and adventures. Indomitably, they embark on new adventures to enliven their closing days and fulfil their promises.

It is a simple tale which is told with great warmth and empathy. The acting is superb as is the direction by Sofia Teixeira Gomes. One could not wish for a better portrayal of Portuguese rustic life and the character of elderly people. It is without sub-titles but interpretation of the simple story should not be difficult for anyone with a modicum of Portuguese thus making it ideal viewing for any intending migrant wishing to understand our way of life.

This wonderful film is the first of an intended series to be titled “Contado Por Mulheres” in which each will be directed by women some of whom are new to the art of audio-visual storytelling but with experience of theatre, cinema, dance and even advertising while the casts will be drawn from both veteran and novice actresses. If “Vizinhas” is anything to go by, we shall soon enjoy a feast of superb cinematic femininity.