Global industrial overfishing has caused significant problems in the village of Rabo de Peixe in the Azores, where small-scale fishing has long provided a livelihood. This situation plunges Pedro, a young master fisherman, with a crisis in his professional life, over and above the inherent dangers of working at sea. Shot between 1999 and 2001, the film follows Pedro and his crew over a full year, chronicling their determination to remain free.


Footage was originally shot with support of a public broadcaster in co-operation with fishing associations who were looking for a record of disappearing small-scale fishing methods and skills. We were asked to remove scenes that might give “gave a bad image of fishermen and fishing communities”, as well as references to particular characters. A 55-minute version was then produced and broadcasted once by the Portuguese public television.

14 years later, industrial methods have replaced traditional fishing tackle, standardized labor relations have superseded the old communal organization of work and countless small open boats have given way to a small number of large, modern boats with electronic equipment. Even the topography has changed: Rabo de Peixe’s small port has been destroyed and a huge structure intended for industrial fishing has been built with EU funding.

The scale of these changes made us want to re-edit the movie according to our original plan. Our new feature version, done without restrictions of duration and content, is designed to do justice to the bravery of the young men depicted and their struggle to maintain a cherished tradition. Since filming, many have given up the sea, unwilling or unable to adapt to predatory industrial practices. Some have joined the ranks of the unemployed. Others have emigrated to America. A few are keeping up the fight for sustainable fishing.


In order to understand the framework of our shared experience with these fishermen, we quote a small text we wrote in 2000, before starting the yearlong shooting: READ.

World 0

Running time: 103 minutes
Production: PRESENTE
Financial support and co-production: ICA, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, RTP

Directors: Joaquim Pinto, Nuno Leonel
Image, sound and editing: Joaquim Pinto, Nuno Leonel
With: Pedro Moniz, Artur Carreiro, Rui Melo, Manuel Moniz, Bruno Moniz, Marco Moniz, Manuel "Pereira", Eduardo Moniz, Emanuel Carreiro

© 2015



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Cinéma du Réel 2015, France - Potemkine Editor's Prize

Indie Lisboa 2015 - TAP Distributor's Prize

Festival Panorama Internacional Coisa de Cinema 2015, Brazil - Best International Long Feature Prize

Filmer à Tout Prix 2015, Belgium - Jury Prize, International Long Feature

Festival Internacional de Cinema da Fronteira 2015, Brazil - Honorable Mention