Pere Portabella: Umbracle

  • Umbracle_Pere Portabella-Films 59_3

    Image courtesy of Pere Portabella – Films 59.

Past Event

This event was on Thu 28 Nov, 7pm


The first of two events comprising a London-wide survey of the aesthetically and politically radical Catalan film-maker. Erika Balsom, writer and senior lecturer in Film Studies at King’s College London, introduces his 1972 feature Umbracle, featuring a hallucinatory Christopher Lee wandering a dreamlike Barcelona. A structurally complex and profoundly political film, Umbracle will be preceded by two shorts which focus on the rich collaboration between Portabella and Carles Santos, the late Catalan composer. Copies of the new LP by Carles Santos for the work of Pere Portabella from label will be available at the event.

Premios Nacionales (1969, 5m) + Play Back (1970, 5m)

Umbracle (1972, 85m)



Whitechapel Gallery host two events in the most complete international survey to date of the radical Catalan filmmaker, Pere Portabella, in his 92nd year, and the 60th year of his production company, Films 59 (Viridiana). Responding first in violent poetic resistance to a Franco-occupied Spain, Portabella continues to understand the cinematic medium as intervention; as a forum for political debate and participation.

Curated by the Liberated Film Club.

About The Artists

Pere Portabella is the rarest combination of radical artist and politician. In 1977, he was elected senator, participating in the writing of the present day Spanish constitution; this, in parallel with his work as one of the most important living film directors internationally. For information on the full retrospective of work by Pere Portabella please visit:

Erika Balsom is a senior lecturer in Film Studies at King’s College London.

Liberated Film Club is curated by artist Winstanley Schtinter. Films screened are often drawn from Schtinter’s personal archive of unknown and unseen cinema.