“What was” collides with “What will be” in a search for saudade.

Filmmaker Joshua Dylan Mellars journeys into the heart of the Portuguese soul on a mystically wild and lushly romantic fado journey. From the ironwork balconies and narrow cobbled streets of Lisbon’s Alfama to the cool bungalow porches of former Portuguese Goa, the filmmaker circumnavigates the globe in search of the meaning of saudade, the essence of fado.

Mellars also sails an inner sea to learn from those who have lived and sung life in fado–for somewhere, somehow, sometime, we all must travel fado’s terrain.

Joshua Dylan Mellars Ana Moura 2

“…Ana Moura’s smoky contralto has drawn the attention of the Rolling Stones and Prince…” — The New York Times

Born in the old Moorish district of the Alfama 150 years ago, Lisbon fados are Portuguese songs filled with saudade, lamenting unrequited love, danger at sea, and the beauty and the poetry of the bullfight. Fadista Amalia Rodrigues’ popularity beginning in the 1940’s spread interest in fado music throughout the world. 

Mafalda Arnauth Joshua Dylan MellarsSinger Carlos do Carmo now serves as a bridge between the older generation of fado singers and a new wave of fado singers lead by fadistas Camané, Mafalda Arnauth, Katia Guerreiro, Mariza and Ana Moura. 

Watch Heaven’s Mirror Trailer

“Throughout Heaven’s Mirror the cinematography combines with the haunting fado music to convey a sense of the beauty of Portugal and the mystery of saudade.”

“…Mellars’ film documents the way that “fado” music captures the emotion and nostalgia of a Portuguese immigrant community in the United States.  But the stories that are depicted… are much more universal…”