I saw Mistérios de Lisboa knowing nothing of the author or the director and I was captivated. You can Google it to discover its official meaning but I was captivated by the Portuguese, spoken as I heard it as a child, and the gestures, that I know from old fashioned people in northern Brazil. It is a true privilege to have visited rural Portugal and to understand Portuguese, I will say.
The story is wildly Gothic and the characters, Romantic. They are also caught in webs of Iberian honor and of course one sees why one is be glad not to live in that kind of patriarchy. What I liked about them and like about other pre-20th century characters is that they do not feel required to change their destiny, or responsible for the accidents which befall them. “This happened, so now I am here,” they seem to say.
The 19th century is so familiar, yet so bizarre. In this story I noticed that all the clergy — all the clergy had taken holy orders after being disappointed in love; this seems to make them far more tolerant and less judgmental than current clergy. What do you think the character Pedro da Silva dies of?