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16th Jecheon International Music & Film Festival

Mariza and the Story of Fado
UK, Portugal | 2006 | 55min | COLOR | Documentary | Musical


Fado, meaning ‘fate’ in Portuguese, is the beautiful and evocative traditional music of Portugal, a music of sorrow and longing that conveys the poetry of love. Originating from songs sung by Brazilian and African slaves on the shabby piers of Lisbon in the early 19th century, Fado became well-known through the work of Amalia Rodrigues, but has never gained quite the popularity it deserves due to the language barrier and its unique sentiment. Recently a new wave of Fado, led by Mariza, is sweeping the world and touching the hearts of people worldwide. Born in Mozambique, Mariza moved to Portugal in 1974 where she started singing Fado even before she could read. She even had a concert in Seoul in September, 2006. Her Fado is sweeter and more energetic than traditional Fado and applies the bold use of non-traditional instruments like flute, accordions and percussions. The film explores the beauty, history and growth of Fado through performances and interviews with Mariza, other ‘fadistas’ (Fado singers), musicians and music experts. Mariza says: “Fado should evolve. It should march into the 21st century. Portugal and its people have evolved ? so should Fado.”

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Simon Broughton

Simon Broughton is a leading British television director whose work includes a number of documentaries on music from around the world, shot in locations ranging from Portugal to Afghanistan. He is editor of ‘Songlines’, the World Music magazine and also co-editor of the ‘Rough Guide to World Music’ which is the essential handbook to popular and traditional music around the globe.

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