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Histórias de Contrabandistas

Histories of Smugglers

Documentary, 20', Portugal

The film takes place in Tourém, a frontier village at the border between Portugal and Spain. As one of the last villages on Portuguese territory, Tourém owns several paths to its Galician neighbor villages. Tourém has a reputation as the “smugglers’ nest”, many villagers who are still inhabitants there nowadays were involved in the business in the past.

The interviews focused on the topic of smuggling, from a personal perspective. Paulo, the shop owner, remembers many stories about his father, who was one of the biggest dealers in the business, and the thriving big actions they had participated in together. Although Paulo keeps a nostalgia for the past days, many of his fellow villagers, who used to be carriers and took real risks smuggled into the mountain, have different perspectives. Teresa’s family suffered hunger, her smuggling stories are full of obstacles from the fiscal guards. Jaime used to be the mayor of Tourém, he entered the business as a carrier and still remembers vividly the muddy first work with a box of Marlborough…


The film presents selected interviews with people who live in Tourém and know each other for all their lives. They are from different classes and participated in smuggling in different roles. They remember the same events, but sometimes, their opinion contradicts. It is focused on a micro-universe, a small scope looking into a small village, but through it, we aim to build a bigger picture of the memory of Portugal's past.

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