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 - [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.