In the year of the 650th anniversary of the Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Alliance, marked on 16 June 2023, the director Martin Dale is producing a documentary, The Alliance, the shooting of which has passed through Porto. The film features several talking heads who address the history and contemporary relevance of the diplomatic alliance between Portugal and the UK, the oldest of its kind still in force today.
Filmed across various cities in Portugal — including locations like Sé do Porto, Feitoria Inglesa and Casa do Infante — and in the UK, The Alliance brings together interviews with researchers, specialists and personalities whose personal trajectories have straddled both countries.
Martin Dale, a British director living in Portugal for over 20 years, explains how the symbiotic relationship between Portugal and the UK sometimes means that changes in one country are then reflected in the other. The filmmaker enumerates various curiosities that bear witness to this close relationship. “There are interesting things like, for example, the fact that, between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 1960s, one of the first telecommunications companies in Portugal was The Anglo-Portuguese Telephone Company — which explains the presence of the British-style red telephone boxes still seen in Porto to this day.” “There are still other vestiges of the English legacy, such as double decker buses in the 1950s and 1960s or certain postmarks. There were many other points in common whose origins I wasn’t aware of,” adds the director.
The 50-minute documentary is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.