Berlinale 2023: Susana Nobre Talks Cidade Rabat

Director Susana Nobre joins us on Close-Up Culture to discuss her film, Cidade Rabat.

The film follows 40-year-old Helena, who, after the death of her mother, has time for herself. She works at a film production company, dances boisterously, and gets drunk.

Cidade Rabat will screen at Berlinale 2023 – Ticket info

Your latest film, Cidade Rabat, will screen at this year’s Berlinale. What was your trigger to write this film?

This film was written from some events that occurred at different times and that I gathered through writing. Those autobiographical events were more like a window to start writing. The writing was an important element as an antechamber of this film. Some sequences of the film – the overture inside the building with the narration describing each person that lived behind each door, the sportive club where Helena goes to do community work after her problem with justice – were places that I already had explored with my camera. Sequences that existed independently and that I decided to add to the main action, the mother’s death.

Can you tell us about Helena and what you wanted to explore through her?

Helena’s condition is that of a woman who seeks a more contemplative life, outside the productive chain of everyday work.

What was your collaboration like with Raquel Castro (who plays Helena) and the rest of this cast?

Raquel was unique casting. I didn’t see any other actresses. She was suggested to me by the assistant director of the film. I met her, we had a coffee and we talked. I got to know a little about her life, that she had been a nurse before becoming an actress, that she had two daughters, some details that immediately made me believe that she would have the necessary experience for the character of Helena. More than realizing if she was a great actress, I immediately had an intuition, a belief in her presence in the film and that we would be able to take the film forward. The rest of the cast, the sister, the mother, It was the same, the daughter is my real daughter. I really don’t like the idea of anonymous casting maybe if sometimes it’s useful… For the secondary cast I asked almost all my friends to come.

What will be your biggest take away from making Cidade Rabat?

On a shooting, always keep your head fresh and your relation with the film alive.

Cidade Rabat will screen at Berlinale 2023 – Ticket info

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