Fred Rocha’s review published on Letterboxd:
Portuguese film has come a long way.
The movie is called "A Herdade", mas podia perfeitamente ser chamado "A Herança".
There is this cyclical repetition of the same mistakes. And the men in the family all commit the same ones, over and over again, generation after generation. So the beat goes on and nothing changes, while nothing ever really is the same.
If you're curious about Portugal this movie is good to dip your toes in, as the family history travels hand-in-hand with the country's history. It's not hard to imagine those encounters with representatives of the state happened in real-life scenarios, and that a non-fictional João had indeed to go to the capital to put a word in with the fascist state to release his communist talented mechanic from political prison.
The same way the domain fluctuates and needs to constantly be adapting to the turbulent times the country is going through, witnessing the arrival of worker's rights, land reform and collective organization.
It's in the end the story of the powerful man that gets too drunk with his own, seemingly infinite power, and in this inebriation fails to notice how things are crumbling around him, and thus is power-less to do anything to save his family from dissolving and his estate from crumbling.