Director: Miguel Gomes. Starring: Crista Alfaiate. Portugal/France/Germany/Switzerland 2015. 125 mins. Portuguese with English subtitles. Following in the tradition of The Arabian Nights, Portuguese auteur Miguel Gomes (Tabu) uses his Scheherazade (Alfaiate) as both a character and a framing device. Usually we would find her telling stories night after night so as to postpone her own execution at the hands of her husband the king. But in this first instalment of Gomes’s three-volume magnum opus, we instead meet the storyteller aboard a glitzy speedboat, narrating topical parables about venal bankers and politicians who are destroying the cultural and social fabric of Portugal and beyond. Thus we see a gaggle of fat-cat economists whose ruthless doctrines are driven by sexual impotence, a plague of wasps accompanying the mass sackings of shipyard workers, and Gomes himself deserting his film crew because of government-imposed funding cuts. This is an ambitious, visually intoxicating work with a tough moral spine.