Imperial remains: Post-colonialism in Portuguese literature and cinema | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 14, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1476-413X
  • E-ISSN: 1758-9509



Post-1974 literature and cinema have contributed to a reflection about the Colonial War and, more broadly, about Portuguese colonialism. Novels like António Lobo Antunes’s South of Nowhere, Lídia Jorge’s The Murmuring Coast, Isabela Figueiredo’s Notebook of Colonial Memories, and Dulce Maria Cardoso’s The Return, as well as films such as João Botelho’s A Portuguese Goodbye, Teresa Villaverde’s Coming of Age, António Pedro Vasconcelos’s The Imortals, and Manoel de Oliveira’s, Non, or the Vain Glory of Command, to name but a few, deal with the country’s long colonial past, try to come to terms with the heritage of colonial violence and reflect upon Portugal’s postcolonial identity. In this paper, I argue that this literary and cinematic production mirrors what I have identified as the four modes of being post-colonial in contemporary Portuguese culture: (1) Nostalgia with bad conscience; (2) Trauma; (3) Melancholia; (4) Trace.


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