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Cidade Rabat

Filmstill from "Cidade Rabat" by Susana Nobre. A woman looks pensively out of the window of a car.
© Paulo Menezes
  • Director

    Susana Nobre

  • Portugal, France / 2023
    101 min. / Original version with English subtitles

  • Original language


Helena is 40. She works as a film production assistant, has a daughter, an ex-husband, a lover and, at the beginning of the film, a mother. In one of the first scenes, she visits the old woman for lunch. A little later, Helena (Raquel Castro) is sitting with her sister at the undertaker’s, deciding between an open or closed casket for the funeral service.

CIDADE RABAT, Susana Nobre’s latest film following NO TÁXI DO JACK (Berlinale Forum 2021), deals with grief. This emotion is articulated with restraint as the film drifts through Helena’s everyday life. Whether she is waiting at a bank counter, duping the priest at the funeral or eating a cream puff, everything is treated with a quiet, steadfast interest. The laconism is unmistakable, the humour quiet. Parties bring movement on two occasions, and piano music frames the sequence of scenes from time to time. Nobre subtly poses questions of economy: How to pay non-professional actors above the board when they don’t have a residence permit? And when Helena is doing community service, why doesn’t she realise she is supposed to do the dishes? (Cristina Nord)

Production João Matos. Production company Terratreme Filmes (Lissabon, Portugal). Director Susana Nobre. Written by Susana Nobre. Cinematography Paulo Menezes. Editing Martial Salomon. Sound design Nuno Carvalho. Sound João Gazua. Production design Cláudia Lopes Costa. Costumes Tânia Franco. Make-up Iris Peleira. Assistant director André Silva Santos. Production manager Mônica Noronha. Executive producer João Gusmão. Co-producer Janja Kralj. Co-production Kinoelektron. With Raquel Castro, Paula Bárcia, Paula Só, Sara de Castro, Laura Afonso.

Susana Nobre, born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1974, she studied communications and began her career as a screenwriter and producer. After numerous short and documentary films, she made her feature-film debut in 2018 with TEMPO COMUM. Her film NO TÁXI DO JACK screened at the Berlinale Forum in 2021.

Films: 2003: O Que Pode Um Rosto / Daycare Hospital (103 min.). 2005: Estados da Matéria / It Would Have Been Simple (14 min.). 2010: Lisboa – Província / Lisbon-Province (20 min.). 2013: Vida Activa / Active Life (92 min.). 2015: Provas, Exorcismos / Trials, Exorcisms (25 min.). 2016: As Viagens Philosophicas / Tracking the Naturalists (50 min., TV Documentary). 2018: Tempo Comum / Ordinary Time (64 min.). 2021: No táxi do Jack / Jack's Ride (70 min., Berlinale Forum). 2023: Cidade Rabat.

Bonus Material

Essay and Director’s Statement on CIDADE RABAT

  • Filmstill from "Cidade Rabat" by Susana Nobre. A woman sits on a blanket in a clearing.


    In “The Gruff Magic of Futility”, Cosima Lutz writes about the circular paths taken by the protagonist of Susana Nobre’s film

  • Filmstill from "Cidade Rabat" by Susana Nobre. A young woman is sitting at a table on which one guesses the end of a fancy meal. Another one is standing next to it. In the background is a bar counter.

    Director’s Statement

    Susana Nobre on the representation of mourning that informs CIDADE RABAT

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur