Documentary about Paulo Cunha e Silva will premiere on the day on which he would have celebrated his 60th birthday

The documentary, “O caos é a mais bela assinatura do mundo”, will premiere on RTP2, on June 9 – the day on which Paulo Cunha e Silva (1962–2015) would have celebrated his 60th birthday. It celebrates the life of the critic, art curator and former Councillor for Culture of Porto City Council.

Directed by Paulo Seabra, the film recalls the life and career of Paulo Cunha e Silva, from his birth in Beja, to the legacy that he left in the cultural community in Portugal and, in particular, in the city of Porto. It includes photographs, records, objects and testimonies by people who came into contact with Cunha e Silva’s family and artistic or political life: Elisa Cunha e Silva (mother), Miguel Von Hafe Perez (curator), Rui Reininho (musician and friend), José Barros (fellow student at ICBAS), Alexandre Quintanilha (scientist and politician), Carlos Miranda (friend), Catarina Portas (friend), Joana Vasconcelos (artist), Manuela de Melo (Councillor for Culture of Porto City Council 1990–2002), Maria de Assis (deputy director of the Instituto das Artes), Paulo Mendes (artist), Fernando d’Oliveira Neves (ambassador), Rui Moreira (Mayor of Porto), João Louro (artist), Tiago Guedes (artistic director of the Teatro Municipal do Porto) and Guilherme Blanc (former deputy of the Department of Culture and artistic director of Batalha Centro de Cinema).

The film’s director, Paulo Seabra, was a close friend of Cunha e Silva from 1997 onwards. He recalls that he “was a person in permanent creation – Paulo was constantly looking around him in order to understand what it was still possible to create”. Seabra explains that the documentary – with music by Táxi, GNR, Heróis do Mar, Xutos e Pontapés and José Mário Branco – reflects his late friend’s characteristic joy and enthusiasm and that his memory was present throughout the two-year production process. “All the decisions regarding the documentary were made with Paulo in mind. As I added or removed any item, I always questioned whether Paulo would consider it to be relevant. I believe that, in this way, in addition to being about Paulo’s life and journey, the documentary was made with his vision.”  

Born in Beja, Paulo Cunha e Silva first came into contact with the artistic universe while studying medicine at the Abel Salazar Institute of Biomedical Sciences, of the University of Porto. He was one of the main programmers of Porto 2001 – European Capital of Culture. He was also President of the Instituto das Artes of the Ministry of Culture, Cultural Counsellor of the Portuguese Embassy in Rome and Programming Commissioner of Guimarães 2012 –  European Capital of Culture. He maintained a close collaboration with the Serralves Foundation, with the Calouste Foundation Gulbenkian and was President of the Culture Commission of the Portuguese Olympic Committee. Between 2013 and 2015, he was the Councillor in charge of the Department of Culture of Porto City Council, and contributed to the city’s cultural renaissance.

“O caos é a mais bela assinatura do mundo” will premiere Thursday, at 10:50 pm, on RTP2, and has support from Porto City Council and Filmaporto.