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THE ART OF AMALIA
USA: Avatar Films
Cast: Amalia Rodrigues, John Ventimiglia (Narrator: English version), Joaquim de Almeida (Narrator: Portuguese version)
Director: Bruno de Almeida
Countries: Portugal / USA
USA: 90 mins
USA Release Date: 8 December 2000 (Limited Release - New York)
A documentary in one of the most important artists of our time, Amalia Rodrigues has performed throughout the world for more than 50 years. Amalia sings many types of music but she is mostly known for the "Fado", the music of Portugal. Soulful and mysterious, Fado means "destiny" and in Amalia's voice it becomes the ultimate expression of the country's identity. Although she passed away on October 6th, 1999, Amalia has left behind a timeless artistic legacy. It includes more than 50 albums and CDs, several films, countless television appearances and millions of dedicated fans worldwide.
Bruno de Almeida has made four films about Amalia and has in the process became what he jokingly refers to as the singer's "private filmmaker". Their close relationship began with AMaLIA, LIVE IN NEW YORK CITY, a concert film of her 1990 performance at New York's Town Hall, which EMI released as Amalia's very first video. Bruno was shortly after signed on by Valentim de Carvalho, Amalia's record company, to direct a documentary about her life. AMaLIA, A STRANGE WAY OF LIFE went into production in mid 1994. It was completed 10 months later, following the editing of 150 hours of international television and film footage and the shooting of a 5 day long interview with Amalia. This five-hour documentary series has been shown on Portuguese and French television on more than one occasion and released as a deluxe video box set. In 1998, Bruno was commissioned by Lisbon's EXPO '98 world fair to make a special tribute film, AMaLIA-EXPO'98, to be shown as part of a day long celebration for the singer at the Expo. Based on the success of the television series, Bruno was again invited in 1999 to direct THE ART OF AMaLIA, a 90 minute feature documentary intended for international audiences. The film was completed a week after Amalia's untimely death and premiered at the United Nations in March 2000.