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New Madeiran Film Honours Levada ‘Rockers’

A new film by Madeiran director and actor João Augusto Abreu, ‘Cartas de Fora’ is, according to Luís Filipe Jardim, a dramatic comedy, inspired by the ‘epic work’ of the levada construction workers, and as such, a tribute to the men known as the ‘rocheiros’ (rockers).

Paula Cabaço, Regional Secretary for Tourism and Culture, first praised the title ‘Cartas de Fora’, saying that the film has a nostalgic, poetic, beautiful name, while the film itself portrays the reality lived by the Madeirans in the twentieth century.  The film also deals with cultural themes such as  grapes, embroidery and emigration. She went on to say that ‘above all it is an extraordinary tribute to the rockers; men who hung on ropes as they chiselled away at the imposing Madeira landscape.’  Furthermore, the film highlights the harsh realities of the work done; work that younger generations possibly have no concept of especially in today’s mechanical and digital world.

The Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Fisheries, Humberto Vasconcelos, also praised the director’s perseverance, filming often took place in adverse weather conditions, and all the work he had witnessed on the ground. He went on to say that he had co-starred in the film alongside former Madeiran president, Alberto João Jardim.

When asked about the script João Augusto Abreu stated that although the storyline is fictional it is based on ‘some truths.’

The film premieres on the 17th of September at the Centro de Congressos – Casino da Madeira at 21:00, with additional screenings taking place on the 20th, 21st, 26th and 27th of September.  The film is also expected to be screened on the continent through Casino Estoril.

Tickets can be purchased from JM, Rua 31 de Janeiro, 73-74 or by telephone – 291 210 403, priced €7.00.

Samantha Gannon

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Madeira Weekly