The Green Years

The Green Years

Paulo Rocha / 1963 / 89 minutes

Never before released in the US, Paulo Rocha’s debut feature The Green Years, gloriously shot in black and white, is an extraordinary and haunting coming-of-age tale. Nineteen-year-old Julio heads to Lisbon from the provinces and gets a job as a shoemaker for his uncle Raul. But when he meets Ilda, a confident young housemaid who becomes a regular shop visitor, the two begin a tentative romance until the realities of the outside world come crashing through. Winner of Best First Film at the 1964 Locarno Film Festival.

New digital restoration supervised by Pedro Costa.



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  • “A fantastic rediscovery in the truest sense. Brimming with contemporary resonance, and moving with the rhythms of la nouvelle vague… It’s a gift for cinephiles, and should hopefully bring Paulo Rocha a deserved space in the conversation of influential filmmakers. Grade: A.”

    — Kevin Jagernauth, The Playlist
  • “A virtuoso black-and-white debut. Stunning. It’s a film so mature, with such musical verve and pictorial elegance, we can only marvel at the energy that was in the air in Europe in the 1960s.”

    — Ela Bittencourt, Notebook
  • “An intoxicating, downright romantic vision of star-crossed Lisbon lovers. Watching The Green Years recalls the early days of one’s cinephilia, when entire worlds opened with a new name, a new landscape, and the incessant desire to see more.”

    The Film Stage
  • "The first film of a new generation. Striking in its context and its mastery of filmmaking."

    — Manoel de Oliveira
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