O Păo

O Păo


  • Manoel de Oliveira
  • Portugal
  • 1959, 59 min
Script: Manoel de Oliveira
Photography: Manoel de Oliveira
Editing: Manoel de Oliveira
Sound: Fernando Jorge
Color: Colour
Language: Portuguese

This symbolic fresco follows the work process involved in making bread. According to the director, the film revolves on the idea that bread is like a river's flow, which meanders through various places and passes through the hands of people from various social strata. The film's backdrop is the history of bread. _ It works with a broad spectrum of symbols borne along by a universalistic vision that unites the sacred and the secular, the rural and the urban, the rich and the poor, production and trade, to reveal the role of man in each step in the process of bread-making, wherein components of everyday life make it possible to draw an invisible relationship between even very remote people. _ The combination of images, which retain the original sounds of each setting, create a hypnotic composition, without any of the individual scenes losing touch with their original social content. _ The editing makes no effort to connect the individual scenes in a chronological order, but instead constructs the film as a reflection on how this activity is passed on from generation to generation, how individual and at the same time interchangeable hands represent from an eternal perspective the renascence of the human species. _ Oliveira returned to this film, shot in 1959, five years later and cut it to half its original length, and subsequently even removed the music from the film. The director pursued one aim in this exceptional purging process: to rid the film of everything not absolutely essential to it.

Photo Gallery

Festival edition: 2006
Sections: Manoel de Oliveira
Exhibition format: 35 mm
Subtitle languages: French


The author of the official spot is renowned director Jean-Luc Godard