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Lines of Wellington Les Lignes de Wellington

A film by Valéria Sarmiento with Nuno Lopes, Adriano Luz, Marisa Paredes, John Malkovich

On September 27, 1810, the French troops commanded by Marshal Massena, were defeated in the Serra do Buçaco by the Anglo-Portuguese army of general Wellington.Despite the victory, Portuguese and British are forced to retreat from the enemy, numerically superior, in order to attract them to Torres Vedras, where Wellington had built fortified lines hardly surmountable.Simultaneously, the Anglo-Portuguese command organizes the evacuation of the entire territory between the battlefield and the lines of Torres Vedras, a gigantic burned land operation, which prevents the French from collecting supplies.

This is the setting for the adventures of a multitude of characters from all social backgrounds - soldiers and civilians, men, women and children, young and old - to the daily routine torn by war and dragged through hills and valleys, between ruined villages, charred forests and devastated crops.

Highly persecuted by the French, already tormented by an unmerciful weather, the mass of fugitives continues to move forward clenching the teeth, just to save their skin, loaded with tenacious will to resist the invaders and retreat them from their country. Or even hoping to take advantage of the disarray to satisfy their basic instincts.

All of them, whatever nature or motivations - the idealistic young lieutenant Pedro de Alencar, Clarissa Warren, the malicious little english girl, the shady dealer Penabranca, the vindictive Sergeant Francisco Xavier or the lusty prostitute Martírio -, all gather by different paths to the lines of Torres, where the final battle will decide the fate of each one of them.

Zone 2; DVD 9; 16/9 compatible with 4/3; 2.40:1; Color; 151´; Sound 5.1 Dolby Digital

VO: Portuguese, French, English Subtitles: Portuguese, English, French, Spanish, Italian Sold out
2011 | France, Portugal | 151´ | Drama, historical | Feature film and TV series

Festivals and awards

Venice Film Festival

Official Selection - Out of Competition

San Sebástian Film Festival
Official Selection

Toronto International Film Festival
Official Selection

New York Film Festival
Official Selection

London Film Festival
Official Selection

Sociedade Portuguesa de Autores Awards
Best Film Award for Carlos Saboga

Cast and crew


Nuno Lopes - Sergeant Francisco Xavier
Soraia Chaves - Martírio
Marisa Paredes - D. Filipa Sanches
John Malkovich - General Wellington
Carloto Cotta - Lieutenant Pedro de Alencar
Victoria Guerra - Clarissa Warren     
Marcello Urgeghe - Major Jonathan Foster     
Jemima West - Maureen     
Afonso Pimentel - Zé Maria     
Miguel Borges - Manuel Pena Branca
Mathieu Amalric - General Baron de Marbot     
Melvil Poupaud - Marshal Masséna     
Filipe Vargas - Vicente de Almeida     
Adriano Luz - Bordalo     
João Luís Arrais - Young Autist
Elsa Zylberstein - Sister Cordélia     
Vincent Perez - Lévêque     
Albano Jerónimo - Abbot     
Joana de Verona - Brites     
Gonçalo Waddington - Nurse Eusébio, Zanaga, Spy

With friendly complicity of
Catherine Deneuve - Severina     
Isabelle Huppert - Cosima Pia     
Michel Piccoli - Léopold Schweitzer     
Chiara Mastroianni - Hussar     
Malik Zidi - Octave de Ségur    
Maria João Bastos - Maria de Jesus     
Paulo Pires - Alberto

Manuel Wiborg - Ti Miguel
José Meireles - Peasant
Diogo Dória - Old Peasant
Rita Martins - Peasant
Lucrèce Carmignac - Young Maid
Francis Braddell Dawson - Peter Warren
Pedro Ferreira - Afonso
João Villas Boas - Cape Percy
Elmano Sancho - French Lieutenant
Miguel Monteiro - Capitan Saavedra
Dmitry Bogomolov - Polish
Pedro Lacerda - French Soldier
João Saboga - Leader
Ricardo Aibéo - Sentinel
Victor Gonçalves - Helper
Chris Murphy - English Soldier

Directed by Valeria Sarmiento
Produced by Paulo Branco
Script: Carlos Saboga
Photography: André Szankowski
Art Direction: Isabel Branco
Production Manager: Ana Pinhão Moura
1st Assistant Direction: João Pinhão Moura
Sound: Ricardo Leal, António Lopes and Miguel Martins
Music: Jorge Arriagada
Editing: Valeria Sarmiento and Luca Alverdi
Produced by Alfama Films
France 3 Cinéma
With the participation of ARTE France
Canal +
France Télévisions
Leopardo Filmes
Câmara Municipal de Torres Vedras

In association with Cofinova 8
With the support of MEDIA

International sales and festivals: Alfama Films

Zone 2; DVD 9; 16/9 compatible with 4/3; 2.40:1; Color; 151´; Sound 5.1 Dolby Digital

VO: Portuguese, French, English Subtitles: Portuguese, English, French, Spanish, Italian Sold out

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