Documentary / Hydroelectric Power Stations


 “The Mud, the Stars and the Wise Men” is a documentary that lives between the courage of the modernist adventure of a group of young architects, in the 50s and 60s of the last century, in a remote place, and the harsh human experience, made of much effort and sweat, to build it.


The action is an interim between the visit of the architect and professor Graça Correia Ragazzi and a young architect to the hydroelectric power plants located in Trás-os-Montes, next to the Portugal-Spain border, and texts taken from the controversial – “The Mud and the Stars” , written by a priest (Father Telmo Ferraz), about workers, fragile human beings, often sick, living far from families, which he listened to with great sensitivity.

It also includes the remarkable work of one of the architects involved in the country’s electrification project, João Archer de Carvalho, a key figure to explain how the work was carried out and how it was built the neighborhood for the workers, the specialized staff and the management staff of these great project (the “wise men”, as it was said by the workers). 

In this way, the documentary here presented gives you a complete portrait of a poor Portugal in the late 50 ́s, with a component that is both technical and functional, through a project dedicated to the country’s electrification. The avant-garde aesthetics (considering the period we are talking about)) and the humanist dimension, are essential to understand that times, made up of people who had to struggle to live, full of pride and dignity, but to who were denied the most basic rights. 

As it happened before with the documentary about the architect Ruy d’Athouguia (Gulbenkian Foundation) and the archaeologist Cláudio Torres, this documentary is once more signed by Ricardo Clara Couto and Nuno Costa Santos. The production is back to Clara Amarela Films.

O lodo, as estrelas e os sábios..00_46_58_01.Still035-min
O lodo, as estrelas e os sábios..00_07_26_11.Still008-min