Netflix movie closes Batalha Monastery for two days

The Monastery of Batalha, in the district of Leiria, is closed to the public on the 19th and 20th of May to receive filming sessions of the film “Damsel”, a Netflix production that, in Portugal, will also pass through Tomar and Sortelha.

In Batalha, the filming will take place in the Royal Cloister and the Imperfect Chapels, but it is available for visits to the Church and Chapel of the Founder, said the Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage (DGPC), which is in charge of the monument.

Afterwards, the production will arrive at the Convento de Cristo, for five days of recordings in Tomar, in the district of Santarém, and also in the village of Sortelha, in Sabugal, in the district of Guarda.

For the director of the Monastery of Batalha, the choice of the UNESCO World Heritage monument for the new Netflix film is of “great importance” on several levels.

In addition to helping to project the image of the Monastery of Batalha, “it is important for the local economy of the village of Batalha, especially after two years of a pandemic that were very difficult; and it is also important for the important film industry in Portugal”, said Joaquim Ruivo.

According to the official, the producer responsible for filming is confident that, after “Damsel”, “doors will open for Hollywood and Netflix will come here, to Portugal, to film more often”.

“It can open doors for great productions” and, with that, not only project the country for tourism but also “benefit Portuguese cinema”.

At a time when the Monastery of Batalha recovers the pre-pandemic tourist influx, the closing of doors these days is, therefore, an understandable sacrifice for the second most visited cultural facility in the country in 2021 (among those managed by the DGPC), with 124,032 Appetizer.

To compensate, individual tourists and visitors organized in groups will be able, on those days, to circulate freely in the church and in the Founder’s Chapel, which is usually part of the circuit that is only accessible with paid admission.

Directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo from a screenplay by Dan Mazeau, “Damsel” involves a technical team of around 250 people. The cast includes Millie Bobby Brown of Stranger Things, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Robin Wright, Nick Robinson, Angela Bassett, Ray Winstone and Brooke Carter. About 35 Portuguese extras also participate.

“Damsel” (in Portuguese, “Maiden”) is scheduled to premiere in the first half of 2023, on Netflix’s streaming service.

In the synopsis, the feature film is presented as a fairy tale around Elodie, a role played by Millie Bobby Brown, who marries the impetuous Prince Henry, heir to the kingdom of Aurea. After the bond, Elodie is imprisoned in a cave as a sacrifice to keep a dragon satisfied. Elodie will have to use strength and wits to survive and find a way to escape.

The director of the Monastery of Batalha warns future viewers that they will have to pay attention to discover in “Damsel” the spaces that will serve as a setting for the film.

“With special effects, they will all be remodeled: the Royal Cloister will be the garden of a palace and the Imperfect Chapels will certainly have a roof, using special effects. For those who know the monastery, it will be a surprise”, he concluded.

Source: Renascença – Noticias by

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