MARIZA AND THE STORY OF FADO “Fado to the Portuguese people is like our national soul,” says Mariza. “But fado is also universal and the language is not a frontier. You don’t have to understand what I’m singing because fado has the power to cross that frontier and make you feel emotions.” Within the space of just five years Mariza has gone from being just a new fado singer to a major international star. She’s hugely popular at home in Portugal, but is also taking fado around the world. Watch this film and you will understand why. Mariza and the Story of Fado, a 60‐minute documentary directed by Simon Broughton, intertwines Mariza’s story with that of fado itself. It includes spectacular concert footage of Mariza, intimate performances in fado clubs, a century of rich archive footage and the glorious city of Lisbon from which the music bursts. Mariza was born in Mozambique to a Mozambican mother and Portuguese father. She came to live in Lisbon aged three and grew up in one of the traditional fado neighbourhoods, Mouraria – just a few streets away from the house of the first fado singer we know by name, Maria Severa who died in 1846. Her parents share some of their memories of Lisbon and the fado taverna they ran which first introduced Mariza to fado. She sings some of the most popular traditional fados and some new ones composed about her and about the new Lisbon. Like any urban music, fado – sometimes called the Portuguese blues ‐ tells the story of its environment. For the first time, this film tells the story of left‐wing and anarchist fado which developed in the working class quarters in the early 20th century until it was banned by the fascist regime which came to power in 1926. In post‐war Portugal the regime decided to embrace fado and use it for its own ends to support patriotism and family values. This was also the period of fado’s greatest name, Amalia Rodrigues, who starred on stage, on film and toured widely around the world. When the fascist regime fell in 1974, fado fell with it. It was only a decade or so later that a new generation of singers could approach the music untainted by the old regime. The film shows a handful of the other current names of fado and Mariza’s commitment to new fados for the younger generation.