Vistos para a vida_Trailer_EN






5 Eps x 30'

Production Year



+351 21 425 85 04


In World War II, facing the invasion of Nazi troops, thousands of refugees, under fire, managed to reach Bordeaux. But they were trapped.

Portugal was the only possible road to freedom, but it was a country with closed doors for refugees, until one man decided to face the major dilemma of his life.

The documentary "Vistos Para a Vida" reveals, in five episodes, how Aristides de Sousa Mendes changed, forever, thousands of lives in those dramatic days of June 1940.

Extraordinary testimonies, of lives that were saved by the Portuguese consul, generations that perpetuate the act of courage and remember the risks taken by families until they reached a safe destination.

The memory of these refugees, people who received visas from Aristides de Sousa Mendes, keeps intact the details of their escape until they arrived at the Portuguese embassy in Bordeaux.

They share Sousa Mendes' anguish at what he was witnessing and his realization that there was only one possible way out: disobey the regime and save everyone he could.

Through witness statements, supported by several historical documents, the series "Vistos Para a Vida" takes us on this race against time, which even today manages to reveal new facts.

Unique images of World War II, collected from battlefields all over Europe, the arrival of refugees in Portugal, expose the real dimension of the drama of those who saw Portugal as their only hope.

Those who didn't make it, tell in this documentary how they escaped the Holocaust after being trapped inside a train, in Vilar Formoso, at the hands of Nazis.

Sousa Mendes threw it all away and disobeyed orders to issue visas to thousands of refugees.

Salazar didn’t forgive him his audacity. Sousa Mendes was exonerated from his diplomatic career and his children forced to leave the country.

His descendants share details of the Man, of his outgoing, cheerful, music-loving personality.

80 years later, the lives that were saved, national and international figures, including António Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations, reflect on the diplomat's legacy.

What remains is an endless sense of gratitude and recognition of the tremendous sacrifice of a pioneer in the defense of human rights.

"Visas For Life," is a production that traveled through seven countries, made in collaboration with several national and international archives and museums.