the importance of being agustina bessa-luís


agustina bessa-luís (1922-2019) was a portuguese novelist and short-story writer whose fiction diverged from the predominantly neorealistic regionalism of mid-20th-century portuguese literature to incorporate elements of surrealism. in bessa-luís’ fiction, notions of time and space become vague, and planes of reality flow together, dimming the sense of a logical order of events. her prose has been called “metaphysical” and “ultra-psychological,” and the influence of marcel proust and franz kafka may be distinguished in the fictional worlds she created.
transitioning from simone de beauvoir to agustina bessa-luís was a deliberate and purposeful choice, as both authors explored the feminine condition within deeply patriarchal societies. through their timeless narratives, they grappled with the pragmatic quest for self-discovery in distinct yet resonant ways.
drawing inspiration from bessa-luís’ body of work, particularly her portrayal of characters embroiled in perpetual societal conflict, bonneville embarked on a journey to unravel the complexities of portuguese identity.

director, writer and performer: mi̶g̶u̶e̶l̶ bonneville. co-writers and performers: diogo bento and tiago vieira. voice-over: paula sá nogueira. original soundtrack: yaw tembe. sound design: blackbambi. costume design: mariana sá nogueira. lighting design: nuno patinho. drawings: bárbara assis pacheco. outside eye: lourença baldaque, joão manuel de oliveira, maria paula meneses, isabela figueiredo. visual content: joana linda. press office: margarida oliveira. executive production: cristina correia. co-production: festival temps d’images. artistic residencies: alkantara, latoaria, rua das gaivotas 6 and teatro do vestido. informal presentation: centro cultural do cartaxo. this project was financed by direcção geral das artes.

15th of october 2022, rtp2 – free-to-air television channel owned and operated by state-owned public broadcaster rádio televisão portuguesa, portugal

8th – 10th of january 2016, teatro taborda, festival temps d’images, lisbon, portugal