Raquel Morais

PhD student, film critic

Voted for

Dal polo all'Equatore1986Yervant Gianikian & Angela Ricci-Lucchi
Five Year Diary (sections)1997Anne Charlotte Robertson
Idhi Katha Matramena1983Yugantar
Jamal1981 Ibrahim Shaddad
Kalendar2008Naomi Uman
Nuestra Voz de Tierra, Memoria y Futuro1981Marta Rodríguez & Jorge Silva
Riddles of the Sphinx1977Laura Mulvey, Peter Wollen
Trás-os-Montes1976António Reis, Margarida Martins Cordeiro
Vers la mer1999Annik Leroy


It is difficult to make lists when they essentially force one to leave things out. My sole consolation was thinking this selection will be part of a wider tapestry. Looking at Sight and Sound polls from previous years, my greatest pleasure was noting the titles which I didn’t know of, revelling in the prospect of all the extraordinary films I have yet to watch.

I thus thought the best way to contribute to the collective list would be adding new elements. My first step was writing down films I love, and that I think should be part of any collection of works to watch, as I suppose that is the purpose of such a poll: to have some good suggestions for your friends and neighbours. My long list was then checked against previous polls and stripped of all the titles and directors which had past mentions. I also decided to trust my fellow voters, in that, films like Panâhi’s In film nist, Seidelman’s Smithereens, Gómez’s De cierta manera, Clair’s Paris qui dort or Snow’s Rameau's Nephew may well find their way into the final list this year, and so I kept them out of my lineup.

I then limited myself to films that may help answer the question of what the concept of “greatest” could mean, picking up works which somehow destabilized notions of size and scope, turning small ordinary animals into big magical creatures (Painlevé); encompassing whole territories (Leroy) and selves (Robertson) over time; magnifying places and people’s histories (Cordeiro & Reis, Rodríguez & Silva); traversing the globe while asking us to look closer, instead of looking further (Gianikian & Ricci Lucchi); encapsulating an entire year in a limited set of words (Uman); reflecting upon both the specificity and transhistoricity of gestures (Shaddad), struggles (Yugantar) and myths (Mulvey & Wollen).