With Alma viva, the feature debut of Christèle Alves Meira, Portugal had a highly original Oscar entry this year - a magical-realist family portrait that mixes a coming-of-age story with family drama and ghost history.
Like every year, young Salomé spends the summer in a mountain village in Portugal with her grandmother Avo and a couple of aunts. Her own mother is not there, as she has travelled to France with a new lover. She is especially fond of her grandmother. Avo is a special woman: not only is she very kind to Salomé, she also looks after the spiritual welfare of her fellow villagers. Great is the shock when she suddenly dies. Her funeral brings Salomé's family together, and also her mother has arrived. But there appears to be a lot of old grudges, not only among themselves but also with other residents. Meanwhile, Salomé seems to be in contact with the other side. Is it the spirit of grandma that wants to take possession of her?