Cidade Rabat

Helena is 40. She works as a film production assistant, has a daughter, an ex-husband, a lover and, at the beginning of the film, a mother. In one of the first scenes, she visits the old woman for lunch. A little later, Helena (Raquel Castro) is sitting with her sister at the undertaker’s, deciding between an open or closed casket for the funeral service.
Cidade Rabat, Susana Nobre’s latest film following No táxi do Jack (Berlinale Forum 2021), deals with grief. This emotion is articulated with restraint as the film drifts through Helena’s everyday life. Whether she is waiting at a bank counter, duping the priest at the funeral or eating a cream puff, everything is treated with a quiet, steadfast interest. The laconism is unmistakable, the humour quiet. Parties bring movement on two occasions, and piano music frames the sequence of scenes from time to time. Nobre subtly poses questions of economy: How to pay non-professional actors above the board when they don’t have a residence permit? And when Helena is doing community service, why doesn’t she realise she is supposed to do the dishes?
by Susana Nobre
with Raquel Castro, Paula Bárcia, Paula Só, Sara de Castro, Laura Afonso
Portugal / France 2023 Portuguese 101’ Colour World premiere


  • Raquel Castro
  • Paula Bárcia
  • Paula Só
  • Sara de Castro
  • Laura Afonso


Director Susana Nobre
Written by Susana Nobre
Cinematography Paulo Menezes
Editing Martial Salomon
Sound Design Nuno Carvalho
Sound João Gazua
Production Design Cláudia Lopes Costa
Costumes Tânia Franco
Make-Up Iris Peleira
Assistant Director André Silva Santos
Production Manager Mônica Noronha
Producer João Matos
Executive Producer João Gusmão
Co-Producer Janja Kralj
Co-Production Kinoelektron Paris, Frankreich

Susana Nobre

Born in 1974 in Lisbon, Portugal. She studied communications and works as a screenwriter, director and producer. She made her feature debut in 2018 with Tempo Comum following several short and documentary works.


2003 O Que Pode Um Rosto (Daycare Hospital); 103 min. · Estados da Matéria (It Would Have Been Simple); 14 min. 2005 Estados da Matéria (It Would Have Been Simple); 14 min. 2010 Lisboa – Província (Lisbon-Province); 20 min. 2013 Vida Activa (Active Life); 92 min. 2015 Provas, Exorcismos (Trials, Exorcisms); 25 min. 2016 As Viagens Philosophicas (Tracking the Naturalists); 50 min., TV Documentary 2018 Tempo Comum (Ordinary Time); 64 min. 2021 No táxi do Jack (Jack's Ride); 70 min., Berlinale Forum 2023 Cidade Rabat; 101 min.

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2023