Goa stirs colonial memories in Portuguese filmmaker

Sun Dec 2, 2007 4:16am EST
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By Tony Tharakan

PANAJI, India (Reuters) - Almost 50 years ago when the Portuguese colony of Goa was integrated with India, Luis Galvao Teles, then just a small boy, wept bitterly.

His father had fought at the International Court of Justice to defend Portugal's rights over Goa, a palm-fringed beach oasis he had never visited but tales of which filled his childhood.

This week, Teles came to Goa, ostensibly to present his film "Dot.Com" at the 38th International Film Festival of India, but more importantly for a long-awaited tryst with a place that had such immense significance in his family.

"From childhood, I had this desire of knowing Goa," the 62-year-old filmmaker told Reuters. "And here I am now, discovering the people of this place and, who knows, perhaps making a film on India."

Half a century ago, any warmth for India was unimaginable in the Teles household as the country was clearly the enemy.

"I remember people crying at my place," Teles reminisced about the loss of the colony. "We were praying and still hoping for a miracle.

"Things changed when I went to university and realized that the idea of colonies made no sense any more."

The Portuguese colonized Goa in the early 16th century after Vasco da Gama discovered a sea route to India in 1498.   Continued...