A story set in the beginning of the XIX century about a doomed love between to people from different worlds and its impact in their lives.
Oliveira returned to the center of Portugal’s film scene in the 1960s with Acto da Primavera, a work that marks a significant change in the director’s trajectory and that initiates some of the cinematic strategies that he would develop more fully in later films. In Acto da Primavera, Oliveira offers a version of a popular representation of the Passion of Christ, enacted by members of a rural community in northern Portugal, derived from the Auto da Paixão de Jesus Cristo (1559), by Francisco Vaz de Guimarães.
João de Deus is the manager of an ice-cream shop owned by an ex-prostitute, Paraíso dos Gelados (Ice-Cream Paradise). Through a unmoved desire of perfection, he seeks, through cleansing and purity to attain heaven. The surrounding world, however, does not comply with his decaying vision of lust and decay as a way of achieving his purpose.
Episodes from entire military history of Portugal are told through flashbacks as a professorish soldier recounts them while marching through a Portuguese African colony in 1973.