Vadio - I am not a poet

Director Stefan Lechner
Portugal / 96 min. / 2018 / Portuguese

A stroll through Lisbon with an aspiring professional fadoist who, in the music of nostalgia and sadness par excellence, finds a unique way to escape his criminal past and hardships, and his disdain-filled present.


This is the vivid, raw and utterly human portrait of a thirty-year-old from the outskirts of Lisbon with an iron will who has no intention of giving up his dream: earning a living and being recognized as a fado singer even if he is told that he is not doing very well, and that he in fact, has trouble writing lyrics. "I am not a poet!" David Gonçalves complains. The documentary flees from the conventional explanation of fado to embody it in David: through his life, he shows us what fado is. The camera follows him through the Vale Oscuro neighbourhood with its beehive blocks, running errands with his grumpy grandmother (the only member of his disjointed family with whom he seems to get along fairly well) and through the bijou restaurants of the Bairro Alto and Alfama, where perhaps someday he can charge to sing. He appears angry, insecure, sad, resentful, convinced that he is cursed, reluctant to find another job and prone to engaging in righteous discussions with his only friend, who is just beginning to earn something by singing for tourists. His story, told with affection and without moralism, and marked by an angst and petty crime-filled past, brings us closer to the liturgy and intensity with which this music lives and those who still cultivate it, to the depths, lacerations, and sweet sadness of its lyrics and melodies. And to the de facto death of a tradition whose neighbourhood and emotional context are simply vanishing.

Entradas BCN


International Official Selection

Showing format

DocLisboa 2018 - Audience Award for Best Portuguese Film

in festivals
DocLisboa 2018

David Ferreira, Adriano Pina, Maura Airez

Stefan Lechner, Patricia Saramago

Vasco Saltão, Vasco Viana

Jacinta Barrios, Rui Simões

Film company
Real Ficção

Film distributor

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