“The work around the images is absolutely sublime.”
Javier Packer-Comyn, Cinéma du Réel Festival Director, in RTP, Portugal
"There is not only the secret history of these photos, but also the confrontation between the executioner and his victim, frozen for eternity."
Yann Lardeau, Cahiers du Cinéma critic, in Cinéma du Réel Festival Catalogue, France
“(…) a masterpiece (…). This is a documentary with a rigorous and disturbing approach. (…) Its careful piecing together very much highlights the particularity of each history while simultaneously guaranteeing rhythm and pace. (…) The result is, most certainly, hypnotic – and unforgettable.”
Amir Labaki, “It’s All True” Festival Director, in Valor Econômico, Brazil
“(…) an extraordinary film (…). My hope is that it shall inspire festivals to introduce a totally different approach to writing history. To deal with memories. To seek out a new minimalistic cinematographic language. And to take a new approach to music and sound."
Tue Steen Müller, former Director of the European Documentary Network, in Filmkommentaren, Denmark
“The images are carefully worked so that their aura becomes more visible. Really! And the bare sound of voices from the interviews are treated as if delicate music. So it does become delicate music. (…) This is about the political crimes of the Portuguese dictatorship (…) so horrendous and wild and conveyed with such beautiful and calm clarification. (…) I have a feeling that [the film] is my main experience of this year’s Cinéma du Réel”.
Allan Berg Nielsen, Danish Film Institute, in Filmkommentaren, Denmark
“48 is probably the most daring and avant-garde [film] presented [in DocLisboa 2009]. It is a piece that should be seen by all secondary students. Its construction is highly elaborate from the artistic point of view. The level of historical content is extremely important and deep, a supplementary reason to be in the audience. This should be compulsory viewing for all history students."
Sérgio Tréfaut, Director of the Doclisboa Festival and Apordoc, quoted by Vanessa Rato, in Público, Portugal
“The directorial device does not budge a millimetre, no sentimentalism, no music, no knowledge. (…) The impact is very strong, the sensing of a daily bestiality becomes almost physical due to the power of the words “creating” the image, leaving the horizon of its construction open. We are guided in the direction of a pre-established iconography (…). The historical memory of the country (…) becomes, in this work of abstraction, a reflection of the contemporary (…).”
Cristina Piccino, in “Il Manifesto”, Italy
“Susana de Sousa Dias has managed to come up a meditative work of surprising cinematographic depth. (…) 48 is a struggle against the absence of words, memories, images. (…) The emptiness left by the disappearance is total but such absence does not leave room for any representation to emerge. (…) In re-appropriating these photographs of repression, the cineaste tries and achieves an impressively subversive work, made up of this vengeance of voices, previously condemned to silence. The pace and form appeal to meditation, enabling the spirit to wander the different strata of spaces and times of suffering and humiliation. (…) 48 is a large stone thrown into the pool of forgetfulness in rendering memory as not some duty but an actual right.”
Arnaud Hée and Camille Pollas, in www.critikat.com, France
“Faces. And voices. Nothing else. Minimalist. (…) A selection of photos tells us about 48 years of fascism - about the society, the faces, the clothes, the way people lived. Nobody is identified by age or name, each individual stands for all the political prisoners of the dictatorship. “Each of these photos hides a story. What interested me was finding out what a photo might reveal and what it might conceal. The film attempts to expand the duration of that fraction of a second, in which the picture was taken, and in which prisoners opposed their oppressors, face to face”, the director explains. The expression on their faces, a defiant look, is the last fragment of freedom held by them at that moment.”
Alexandra Prado Coelho, in Público, Portugal
“This documentary by Susana de Sousa Dias will leave no viewer unmoved (…) an indispensable film for our public film libraries, a film about history that can never be forgotten.”
Christine Puig, in Vidéothécaires Midi-Pyrénées, France
“[referring to the Cinéma du Réel festival films] We are dealing with less classical and more innovative documentaries within which our scope as spectators is more active. Particularly as these films seem to capture a perspective on the future. After the disaster, we ask ourselves how we are going to rebuild. Particularly about how cinema can still be political. And perhaps the route is exactly this, through the relationship between the individual and the collective.”
Javier Packer Comyn, Cinéma du Réel Festival Director, quoted by Gabriella Gallzozzi, in L' Unità, Italy
“(...) The majority of the films shown at Réel (…) show us how cinema can become an archive of its own self, feeding off images of history, breaking with conventions, opening up a different identity on the present. And also how it is possible, through working the archives, to invent visually unexpected forms, sensitivities, poetic epiphanies.”
Cristina Piccino, in Il Manifesto, Italy