Bootsabout the Second World War seen from the German side in a submarine, began as a book by Lothar-Günther Buccheim, who had been a war correspondent on submarines, it was a success when it was released in 1973. Then, in 1981, came the Oscar-nominated Wolfgang Petersen film, which in Portugal was called Underwater Odyssey 96. In 2018, the story continues in a series created for television by Johannes W. Betz and Tony Saint. Das Boot: The Submarine is one of the most expensive German productions of all time – as the film already was. The third season of the series, still with Saint as one of the writers, originally aired in 2022 and now arrives in Portugal this Thursday at 10:10 p.m. on AMC.
In this series of ten episodes which begins in 1942, three parallel stories follow one another: that of a submarine in the Battle of the Atlantic pursued by a commander of the British navy who wants to avenge the death of his son (role played by the recently deceased Ray Stevenson); that of people close to the submarine’s crew in Kiel, Germany; and that of a Gestapo officer investigating the death of a colleague in the neutral city of Lisbon, with spies all over the city. The latter features a leading role by Portuguese actress Joana Ribeiro. She plays Inês de Pina, an employee of the hotel’s casino who becomes, in her own words to PÚBLICO, via Zoom, “a key point in this story”, a “pawn in this immense game” of “spies” that is the plot on your part. Of the history.
Filming took place in Prague in 2021. The part of the story set in Lisbon is mostly spoken in English. Inês is a woman who “comes from a lower class” and has a good level of English, “despite an education with little money, every day she was confronted” with English. “One of the things that caught my attention in the character was her speed and her intelligence in situations. She knows that she is going to have to speak perfect English, to get along with such and such a person. not just an employee, she listens and knows things that I wouldn’t know otherwise,” he comments.
To prepare for the character, he researched “the role of Portuguese women in World War II”. “Unfortunately, there aren’t many records or films that depict this era. We have a few documentaries, but no focus on women,” he shares. No shadow of sin, a 1982 film directed by José Fonseca e Costa based on a book by David Mourão-Ferreira, was seen “a few times” and “turned out to be the biggest inspiration” for the character. Also list, in addition, casablancaby Michel Curtiz war lettersby Ivo M. Ferreira, phoenixby Christian Petzold Hannah Arendtby Margarethe von Trotta, or Ivan’s childhood, by Andrei Tarkovsky. “I have a file on Filmin”, he comments. There was still one playlist from Spotify – “I do this with every character I play” – with Dooley Wilson, Amália Rodrigues, Milú, Carlos Ramos, José Mário Branco, Fernando Farinha, Andrews Sisters or Bobby Darin. He also read “a lot about the Second War, both in the world and the consequences in Portugal”.
With the research, he intended to “understand how a woman behaved at that time.” This knowing that “the Portuguese reality was different from that of the countries that participated in the war, and even the relationship of women to each other and the role of women in society”. However, he points out that Inês, “working at the casino, was not a woman of her time either”. “Women were supposed to stay at home, take care of their families, go to mass, she works in the casino, earns her own money and plays this game. She is not a normal woman in Portugal who existed in that time,” he concluded.