#11 European Classic Documentary Film Meetings 2021

Sambizanga

Sarah Maldoror

1972102 min

Angola 1961. Domingos Xavier is arrested by the colonial authorities, imprisoned and tortured. His wife, Maria, sets out to find him. The film denounces colonial repression and sparks the emergence of a voice of resistance. The origins of the MPLA (People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola)

  • The filmmaker: Sarah Maldoror’s luminous cinematographic work, comprising over 40 films, is the reflection of a courageous fighter – generous, irreverent, concerned for others – who gloriously carried poetry beyond all borders. Sarah Maldoror used her sharp gaze to support the struggle against all types of intolerance and stigmatisation, and attached a fundamental importance to solidarity between the oppressed, political repression, and common Culture as the only means of uplifting a society. During her final public intervention at the Reina Sofia museum (Madrid, May 2019), which paid tribute to her, she reiterated how important it was for children to go to the cinema and read poetry from a very early age, in order to build a fairer world. An outspoken rebel and determined humanist, Sarah Maldoror celebrated the commitment of the artist and art as an act of liberation.  

  • Annouchka de Andrade :  Currently director of the Amiens International Film Festival, with over 30 years’ experience in international cultural cooperation, Annouchka de Andrade has worked with a specific focus on cinematographic creation, mainly in Andean countries. Over the past ten years, she has collaborated closely with Sarah Maldoror. Today, she and her sister, Henda, are co-developing projects to enhance, preserve and safeguard the oeuvre of Sarah Maldoror and Mario de Andrade, a couple whose artistic and political commitment has left its mark on the 20th century. After a ten-year negotiation with the rights-holder Editions René Chateau, the print of Sambizanga will be restored by the Cineteca di Bologna thanks to support from the Film Foundation. 

  • African Film Heritage Project: Since 2005/2006, the Cineteca di Bologna has played an active role in conceiving and creating the World Cinema Project, initiated within the framework of the Film Foundation, a non-profit founded by Martin Scorsese and other filmmakers to preserve the world’s film heritage. The project targets great masterpieces from countries whose structures for ensuring these films’ survival and exhibition are still relatively fragile. Over this period, the World Cinema Project  has helped to restore nearly 45 films from 23 countries, with special attention given to African heritage. The African Film Heritage Project, jointly created by the FEPACI (the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers), UNESCO and the Cineteca di Bologna, aims to restore works of significance for the African heritage. These are chosen by the filmmakers, critics, documentarists, etc. who are FEPACI members. Sambizanga is one of the first films to be selected when the African Film Heritage Project was first created.

Production : Isabelle Films
Restorer : Annouchka de Andrade, Cinémathèque de Bologne dans le cadre de l'African Film Heritage Project
Status and availability date : restoration will begin in February 2021

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