From Carlos Saura (Tango, Salome, Iberia) comes a seductive performance movie about the Portuguese music known as fado. Among simple sets made up from mirrors, screens, and a few props, Saura lets some of fado’s greatest musicians show what made the soulful style popular for close to two hundred years. Mariza, Caetano Veloso, Lila Downs and scores of other fadistas sing about jealousy, longing, and fatal love, accompanied by masterful playing and dancing. Like the blues, fado is a profound expression of the sorrows of life, and at the same time, a safe refuge from them. By letting the music speak for itself, Fados illustrates the style’s long history, surprising diversity, and intoxicating passion.

Fados is showing at this year’s New York Film Festival.

Fados. Carlos Saura, 2007. ***

The trailer: