In July 2006, Director Miguel Gomes was having a minor catastrophe. Shooting of his second film, scheduled for the following month, had to be postponed indefinitely. Production funds were short for a demanding screenplay, due to be shot in Portugal’s interior during the August fiestas, and the director’s casting choices. Quickly getting over that shock, the director decided to set off for the location anyway, with a 16mm camera and a crew of five, and film everything he deemed worthy of recording, committing himself to rejigging the fiction accordingly. August is a vaguely idle time in Arganil, a poor and sparsely populated region known as “the heart of Portugal” amid the mountains where a few stray tourists come to have a good time while the locals return from their urban exiles. Emigrants return home, set off fireworks, fight fires, sing karaoke, hurl themselves from bridges, hunt wild boar, drink beer, make babies. The director and the crew took the time to wait for the slow budding of a fantastic dimension of everyday life. This organic construction is the way in which Miguel Gomes embarked on this second feature film of his. While a slightly sardonic love threesome – a father, his daughter and her cousin – made the initial plot, these characters lacked bodies. Gomes chose to look for embodiments on the spot. He filmed the landscapes for so long in his quest for actors that he found other stories in the meantime – minute legends meshing together and gradually taking on the weight of plots in their own right.