Retratos de família: a identidade nacional e a violência em João Canijo

Research output: Types of ThesisDoctoral Thesis


This dissertation intends to examine the films of João Canijo and their ties to representations of national identity. For that purpose, we did a review of literature on Portuguese cultural identity in its diverse dimensions (historical, literary and anthropological), focusing on the importance of Salazar’s ideology and the current identity debates. This work also discusses the history of Portuguese cinema since the 60s, attempting to define paradigms and changes, namely around the Portuguese images. In the third part of this thesis, we try to analyse eight feature films made by the director, proposing the idea of a dramaturgy of violence, through intertextuality with Greek tragedy and film melodrama, which gives a perspective of a representation of contemporary Portugal, based on a patriarchal society and its violence. We argue the importance of concepts such as "non-inscription", by José Gil, or the repressed, by Eduardo Lourenço, to comprehend the films. At last, our analysis debates the issue of realism in cinema, through the prism of contemporary changes suggested by the work of the filmmaker, which fuses fictional and documentary elements. Finally, we suggest a type of dramaturgy of violence in João Canijo’s films that try to question the existing images of Portuguese identity and its cultural representations.
Original languagePortuguese
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Aveiro
  • Ferreira, Carolin Overhoff, Supervisor, External person
  • Baptista, Maria Manuel Rocha Teixeira, Co-supervisor, External person
Thesis sponsors
Award date9 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • National identity
  • Portuguese cinema
  • João Canijo
  • Violence
  • Salazarism
  • Tragedy
  • Realism
  • Melodrama

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