The thesis exposes that images of Portuguese contemporary cinema show a fissure. On the one hand they reveal the fingerprints of a missing past that reactivates (the history) and for other one they summon the indeterminate thing, a mystery that inhabits beyond the shot and that is coded in the counter shot: the counter shot with the death. The research departs from three images that notice the presence of an underground, common imaginary linked to the idea of death in the work of three Portuguese filmmakers of different generations: Manoel de Oliveira, João César Monteiro and Pedro Costa. The work reveals that this idea of death is related to two key elements for the history, the politics, the art and the thought of Portugal: the sea and the navigator. From the dialog that is established between the shots filmed by these filmmakers; the images that belong to the historical, artistic and political past of Portugal; and the visual compositions of other previous cinematographic universes, its possible to draw an aesthetic map of Portuguese contemporary cinema.