Polifonias – Paci è Saluta, Michel Giacometti

Pierre-Marie Goulet

Michel Giacometti, “The Corsican who loved Portugal” was born in Ajaccio. In 1959, he arrived in Portugal and never left. For thirty years, he collected music, tales, stories and poetry, sayings and adages, recipes for popular medicine, giving back to men and women the pride of their culture. This Corsican reinvented himself an island in Portugal, saving the roots of others to discover his own. By saving the memory of a people, he pursued a quest, that of the sometimes-mythical roots that we all carry deep within ourselves. It is on this terrain that Polifonias crosses the traces of his journey, questions the living memory of the elders, and shows the ever-present vivacity of traditional music in Portugal and Corsica.

I made the Giacometti film with Antoine Bonfanti, a sound engineer who had always worked with me since 1978. He was the great engineer of direct sound. Chris Marker, Godard, Marguerite Duras, André Delvaux, Resnais... Bonfanti, who was a Corsican, before arriving in Portugal heard about Giacometti, who was also a Corsican. They struck up a friendship and thanks to that we developed, the three of us, a project that was to be filmed. But Giacometti died before we could start the film. Five years later Antoine and I still wanted to make the film and we finally decided to make Polifonias, which took up Giacometti’s desire to bring together the Corsican and Alentejan cultures. I added to the film a tribute to Michel Giacometti’s own path.” (Pierre-Marie Goulet)


Portuguese spoken, English subtitles
35mm print courtesy of Cinemateca Portuguesa