A cinematographic version of a piece by the Portuguese thinker Tomás Maia. A short movie about gestures of death, life and art.

Bio-filmography of the director

Pedro Florêncio has a Bachelor's Degree from the Portuguese Film School, a Master's Degree in Film at FCSH/UNL, a PhD in Performing Arts and the Moving Image at the University of Lisbon. In 2011 he directed the short film “Banana Motherf*cker” and in 2014 “Where my friend made a painting”, both internationally awarded. In 2017, he won the Jury Prize at Doclisboa 2017 with the documentary "Afternoon”. In 2018 the feature-length documentary “Day Shift” premiered at Doclisboa. In 2021 “Screener” premiered at the 48th Athens International Film and Video Festival, in the experimental competition. In 2023, he premiered "Nocturnal" at DocLisboa in the Heart Beat section.

Director's note

My friend Tomás Maia invited me to do a film about his piece "Poema", presented at the School of Fine Arts of Lisbon, in may 2023 — and I accepted to do it, not only because of my admiration for him as a poet and a philosopher, not only for the sake of our friendship, but mainly because I realized his proposal was a way for me to take a quick shortcut (a vertiginous descent) into the homeland of cinema, there where abstract forms and concrete matter share the same gestures.

Here is the synopsis of the piece:

"A piece that seeks to show the creative or poietic gesture itself: hence its title, poem, which here does not designate a literary composition or even writing, but anything and everything that results from poiesis. (...) The poiesis is presented in a double movement, of flux and reflux, descending and ascending, in a veiled revisitation of the myth of Orpheus – but removing from the myth the male figure (and, therefore, any heroism) and transforming Eurydice into poetry itself, which, unlike the dead, rises above the underground world."

Nocturna is nothing more than a cinematic translation of a little miracle witnessed by very few people — I task I must recognize that was not within the reach of every translator, since "[t]he translator's task consists in this: to find the intention toward the language into which the work is to be translated, on the basis of which an echo of the original can be awakened in it" (Walter Benjamin). So what I tried to awoke in the original piece is the very core of cinema itself: a rhythmic experience of the unknown.


Alessandra Salvini


Director: Pedro Florêncio around the work “Poem” by Tomás Maia Cinematography: Pedro Florêncio Editor: Pedro Florêncio Color grading: Tiago Augusto Architecture: André Maranha Rhythmic composition: Paulo Sarmento Producer: Mário Gajo de Carvalho


15 minutes  / Image: 16x9  /  Sound: Stereo   /  Format: HD   /  Experimental documentary