Not satisfied with just taking excursions through Europe's ancient landmarks (A Talking Picture, 28th HKIFF), this time the prolific, 96-years-old Portuguese director plunges us into a medieval Hamletian intrigue among Lisbon's most famous monasteries. A young monarch is obsessed with leaving his legacy by creating a mythical, utopian Fifth Empire, while his people are suffering from poverty. Is he insane? Or is he guided by the Holy Cobbler? Based upon the real-life mysteries behind King Sebastião, who perished in 1578 during a crusade in Morocco, this controversial parable redresses the Crusades as an inevitable clash between the West and Islam.
Source: 29th HKIFF 2005