Year: 2003
USA: Kino International
Cast: Leonor Silveira, John Malkovich, Catherine Deneuve, Stefania Sandrelli, Irene Papas, Filipa de Almeida, Luis Miguel Cintra, Michel Lubrano di Sbaraglione, Franšois Da Silva, Nikos Hatzopoulos, Ant˛nio Ferraiolo, Alparslan Salt, Ricardo Trepa, David Cardoso, J˙lia Buisel, Ilias Logothetis
Director: Manoel de Oliveira
Countries: France / Italy
Language: Portuguese / French / Italian / English / Greek (English subtitles)
USA: 96 mins
USA Release Date: 10 December 2004 (Limited Release)


Manoel de Oliveira's A TALKING PICTURE is the story of a young history professor, Rosa Maria (Leonor Silveira), and her 7 year-old daughter Maria Joana (Filipa de Almeida) on a bucolic cruise through the Mediterranean Sea. With the intention of joining her husband in Bombay, India, for a family vacation, Rosa has decided to acquire first-hand knowledge of--and introduce her daughter to--historical sites at the various cities along their journey.

Starting in their homeland Portugal and moving through Marseilles (France), the ruins of Pompeii (Italy), Ceuta (Spanish Morocco), Athens (Greece), the pyramids of Egypt and Istanbul (Turkey), Rosa narrates to her young daughter some of the most important events in Western history.

Meanwhile on the cruise, Rosa and Maria eventually befriend three famous women of different nationalities: a renowned French executive (Catherine Deneuve), a former Italian model (Stefania Sandrelli) and a celebrity Greek actress (Irene Papas). Dining with the ship's captain (John Malkovich), an American of Polish origin, all four passengers exchange pieces of their past while talking about the legacies of Western history - each speaking in his or her native languages.

But the curious tourists are forced to stop discussing the rhetoric of tradition and history when a strange threat disturbs the cruise, menacing the ship and the life of all of its passengers.