Whose land is this? - documentary

Whose land is this? - documentary

This story will be set in Escanchados, Aldeia das Amoreiras and surrounding areas (Alentejo). The main protagonists will be my grandparents. At the same time as it is about thos...

This story will be set in Escanchados, Aldeia das Amoreiras and surrounding areas (Alentejo). The main protagonists will be my grandparents. At the same time as it is about those who had to leave this land, it is about hope and returning to our origins.

Whose land is this?

I went after.

This documentary aims to provide a historical context about "Monte dos Escanchados": what is its history, who passed by there, what happened there over the years and how it reached my family and the life it has today. Alentejo, which is characterized by being a desertified territory, largely due to the emigration of almost an entire generation that left the villages for the cities, has gained new inhabitants in recent years, many of them of other nationalities, for whom it is also important that the culture/traditions of the people and the places where they chose to live are preserved and known.

The documentary will be recorded over the course of a year, where it can be expericenced the different seasons of the year in Alentejo and what activities (cork extraction, for example) and changes (some of them climatic) occur over that time, promoting a more immersive and sensorial sensation of that place, showing the essential role of Nature in our life. The main protagonists will be my maternal grandparents. The big portrait interview will be given by my grandmother Delfina aged 82, in a more honest and authentic approach to her life story and my grandfather Bernardo, who despite being invisible, will be present through the recordings of his "cante ao baldão", his playing of the "viola campaniça", his stories and whatever they can tell us about him. It will be a family story and the different generations (including the youngest) who are in one way or another now returning to Alentejo.

Adjacent to this, we intend to interview several people (family, friends, inhabitants of Aldeia das Amoreiras, Monte do Gavião in Santa Clara-a-velha and others) who are in some way related to the Escanchados. I also intend to explore the nicknames given to the people, the places and the myths that exist around the village, exploring the cultural and popular heritage that surrounds these locations in Alentejo. The residents reveal the authenticity of their people, as they are the ones who have the gift of teaching, explaining and showing what life was and is not anymore. 

Today, more than ever, human stories need to be told. 

The time has come to transform this "Fui Atrás" movement into a communitary movement, for us all to get involved in order to preserve our people and their stories. It is urgent to show the new generations our origins and what knowledge we should learn from older generations. It's like I always say, save what was good and improve what was bad. Connecting with each other in an increasingly fast-paced and impersonal world. And that's why I come to ask for your support in order to make this dream of mine/our/yours into the reality that I would like to share with all of you.

Monte dos Escanchados

Glossary

Monte - [Regionalism] A rural property in Alentejo. Set of houses on an estate, usually on an elevation, where a main house and other annexes are located.

Cante ao baldão - A regional folklore music subgenre. It was common to hear improvised singing in fairs, markets and taverns and sometimes accompanied by the popular viola campaniça. Impromptu singing ( which includes "cante ao baldão" and "despique"), as it is sung in the region, is only practiced in Baixo Alentejo and preserved in few isolated areas.

Viola Campaniça – Musical instrument of choice in the Alentejo musical tradition.

Cork extraction – Extracting cork (bark from the cork oak, Portugal's national tree), is an artisanal and traditional practice that requires a lot of skill.

Nicknames - Epithet, generally based on physical, moral, locational, professional or social attributes of an individual and/or family.

Avô Bernardo numa roda de Cante ao Baldão

About the author

I'm Ana Beatriz Bernardo de Jesus, I'm 31 years old and listening to people has always been my favorite way to spend my time. I'm a country, nature, traditions and people's girl. I live in the Algarve, in São Brás de Alportel, with Alentejo always in my heart.

Since I was little, my imagination has been fed with stories of days past that happened with my family in rural contexts.

“Going to Alentejo has, in a way, lost its charm, but I have a dream: I dream of one day restoring "Monte dos Escanchados". I have several ideas, but you can be sure that if I do it, I will do it dedicated to you. You are always on my heart.” When I was around 15 years old, I wrote a text to my grandfather, that ends with this quote. The death of my grandfather Bernardo, when I was just 7 years old, was a huge milestone that marked a turning point in my family's relationship with Alentejo.

He, who despite being invisible, left seeds in my memory and education that sprout over time, has been a great inspiration for everything I have done related to Alentejo. At the same time that his death led my family away from Alentejo, it was also through him that we were able to return.

Alentejo for me has been a self-discovery journey of myself, especially because my past, my memories and childhood stories take me there.

As John Grierson said: “Documentary is the creative treatment of actuality.” Alentejo is the reality that I want to expose you to, it is without a doubt my passion project that brings together stories and people (human stories) in this place that I love deeply.

I intend to raise the issue that no one owns land and what role we assume when we take ownership ofthe responsibility of something being “ours”, of having it and taking care of it, in the context of an intergenerational process.

Being a documentary that features a return to the land through the restoration of a "Monte", I intend it to be an incentive, an inspiration so that more abandoned "Montes Alentejanos" stop being just old houses, inhabited only by their memories. I feel this urgency that translates into the desire to collect the stories that the wise old people have to share with us, an urgency that increases the fear and sadness I feel for each one who dies, as they take with them their love of the countryside and their stories. .

Alentejo is very big, and therefore there will be many people identifying with this story, in addition there is a lot of people fascinated by the Alentejo who will certainly want to hear, see, feel, enter and immerse themselves in this story.

Caiando os Escanchados

Budget and due dates

Budget:

Costs related to shooting (recording work and interviews, travel and necessary equipment): €2723.25

PPL commission: €276.75

(This amount is the minimum to start the exploration and recording work, however any extra money raised will be saved to start the subsequent editing phase.)

 

Calendar:

The recordings will be carried out over the course of a year, I intend to start recording in April 2024 until March 2025.

 

(After this recording phase, I will move on to the editing, production and dissemination phase of the documentary, for which I will also seek collaborative financing through platforms of this type, applications or entities)

Sat, 24/02/2024 - 06:54

Fri, 09/02/2024 - 20:45

50% reached

We've just achieved half the target! The glass is now more full than empty ;)

Thu, 25/01/2024 - 12:24

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Temos boas notícias, graças ao apoio e partilha de todos vocês, estamos neste momento com 33% do valor angariado. Mas nesta campanha só receberemos o dinheiro caso se consiga an...

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  • Ana Beatriz Jesus

    Agradecimento

    Temos boas notícias, graças ao apoio e partilha de todos vocês, estamos neste momento com 33% do valor angariado. Mas nesta campanha só receberemos o dinheiro caso se consiga angariar a totalidade do valor da campanha. Por isso, obrigada pelo vosso carinho até agora, por acreditarem e darem força a este sonho, mas temos de continuar a caminhar!

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