Cinema Rediscovered: Sambizanga

BBFC Ratingf-rated FilmCinema Rediscovered: Sambizanga

Showing: 18 October 2022

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Tue 18 Oct 2022

Certificate15
Year1972
GenreDrama
DirectorSarah Maldoror Angola
WritersClaude Agostini, Sarah Maldoror, Mário Pinto de Andrade
LanguageLingala, Portuguese
CountryAngola, France
Running Time1HR 36MINS
SeasonCinema Rediscovered on Tour

Part of Cinema Rediscovered: Women's Stories from The Global South (& To Whom They Belong), Sambizanga is set in the weeks leading up to the guerrilla war for independence, and focuses on the plight of a young couple.

A riveting neorealist testimony to Angola’s anti-colonialist struggle, not screened in the country until after independence, this is an unforgettable revolutionary film and a passionate dramatisation of a pivotal moment in Angola’s fight for freedom adapted by Sarah Maldoror from a book by Portuguese-Angolan author and activist José Luandino Vieira. Maldoror was not only one of the first women to wield a camera and transform African cinema from then on, but a matriarch who did it to fight oppression.

The film faced significant barriers to restoration due to a battle for ownership between the licence holder and Maldoror’s family, but, despite this, has continued to thrive in Angola as a cherished national artifact through a ripped copy broadcast consistently on television.

The restoration eventually came into being as part of the African Film Heritage Project – an initiative created by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, the FEPACI and UNESCO – in collaboration with Cineteca di Bologna, to help locate, restore, and disseminate African cinema.

Screening as part of the Belfast International Arts Festival's 60th anniversary.

Restored by Cineteca di Bologna and The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project at L’Image Retrouvée (Paris) from the 35mm original negatives, in association with Éditions René Chateau and the family of Sarah Maldoror. Funding provided by Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation. This restoration is part of the African Film Heritage Project, an initiative created by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, the FEPACI and UNESCO – in collaboration with Cineteca di Bologna – to help locate, restore and disseminate African cinema.

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