Fados is a 2007 Spanish film directed by Carlos Saura. The film, a fusion of cinema, song, dance and instrumental numbers, explores Portugal’s most emblematic musical genre, fado, and its spirit of saudade (melancholy).
Using Lisbon as its iconic backdrop, the film explores the intricate relationship between the music and the city, and Fado’s evolution over the years from its African and Brazilian origins up to the new wave of modern Fadistas.
Under the musical supervision of Carlos do Carmo, Fados completed Saura’s musical trilogy form with Flamenco (1995) and Tango (1998). Saura deploys mirrors, back projections, lighting effects, and lush colors to frame each song.
Fados contains homages to Maria Severa, Alfredo Marceneiro, and Amália Rodrigues, as well as turns by modern stars like Mariza and Camané. Saura expands the songs (which traditionally involve just a singer and a guitarist) with dance and encompasses other nationalities of Portugal’s former colonies and idioms (such as hip hop, flamenco and reggae).