Blanca Portillo: «Behind the saint, there is Teresa, a woman full of doubts»

Far from any historicist temptation, Teresa, the latest film by Paula Ortiz, which premieres this afternoon out of competition in the Official Selection, is confirmed as one of the freest versions of Teresa of Jesus (played here by Blanca Portillo), a story based on the play La lengua en pedazos, by Juan Mayorga, which explores her facet as a woman and mystic and the depth of her convictions against an inquisitor (Asier Etxeandía) on whom her future depends.

«For me, cinema is the place to experiment with all languages», Ortiz said during the presentation of the film to the media in the Salón de los Espejos, where he referred to Santa as a character with «unfathomable power» and «susceptible of being read again under any cultural or political agenda».

Teresa brings to the screen some of the writings of the writer through images of great visual strength that «give shape to everything she says». «It is the form that seemed to me the most logical, precise and coherent», said the director of The Bride (2015) in relation to the formal bet that takes place in this film, with dreamlike sequences that escape «from the chains of realism” to bet on other paths.

Its protagonist, Blanca Portillo, Honorary Spike of this Seminci, has focused on the figure of Teresa of Jesus beyond the religious connotations. «Behind that saint, is Teresa, who is a tremendously brave woman, full of doubts», reflected the actress, who has highlighted the «joyful» emotional journey traveled to give life to an icon of Spanish history that have also given life to actresses like Concha Velasco and Paz Vega.

«Teresa opened things inside me that I still keep, that ability to look inward and have no mercy on herself», said the interpreter on an interpretive process that his partner, Asier Etxteandía, has defined as «a meditation». «Teresa belongs to everyone, the doubt belongs to everyone and the search for the sublime belongs to everyone», said the actor, who praised Portillo’s talent to embody her, with whom he has had a professional and personal relationship for several years. «She is one of the people who have made me grow the most», he concluded.

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