• Sarah Maldoror – Sambizanga [Criterion 4K] (1972)

    1971-1980AngolaDramaPoliticsSarah MaldororThe Female Gaze

    This revolutionary bombshell by Sarah Maldoror chronicles the awakening of Angola’s independence movement. Based on a true story, Sambizanga follows a young woman as she makes her way from the outskirts of Luanda toward the city’s center looking for her husband after his arrest by the Portuguese authorities—an incident that will ultimately help to ignite a national uprising. Featuring a cast of nonprofessionals—many of whom were themselves involved in anticolonial resistance—this landmark work of political cinema honors the essential roles of women, as well as the hardships they endure, in the global struggle for liberation.Read More »

  • Fradique – Ar Condicionado AKA Air Conditioner (2020)

    2011-2020African CinemaAngolaDramaFradique

    When the air-conditioners mysteriously start to fall in city of Luanda, Matacedo (security guard) and Zezinha (housemaid) have the mission of retrieving their boss’s ac.Read More »

  • Sarah Maldoror – Monangambeee (1968)

    1961-1970African CinemaAngolaPoliticsSarah MaldororShort Film

    “Monangambeee” was a rallying cry used by activists during Angola’s anti-colonial liberation struggle to gather villages together. The film of the same title addresses Portuguese arrogance towards Angolan culture. Sarah Maldoror draws on a novella by José Luandino Vieira, the story of a political prisoner, to make a film about humiliation, solidarity and resistance.Read More »

  • Sarah Maldoror – Sambizanga (1973)

    1971-1980AngolaDramaPoliticsSarah MaldororThe Female Gaze

    Plot Summary of the Film

    Sambizanga opens in a coastal village where the men are employed on a construction gang. We follow Domingos, a big, handsom tractor driver, as he as a friendly conversation with Sylvester, a Portuguese engineer. The opening credits appear and we hear the song Monanagambée on the sountrack. Domingos returns home (kicking a soccer ball around with some neighborhood kids en route), where his wife, Maria, awaits him with their infant son. They have a peaceful dinner together. Domingos visits a friend, and brings along a secret revolutionary flyer. We then see Domingos and Maria in bed together with their baby; they take turns holding the boy, trying to calm him into sleep.Read More »

  • Maria João Ganga – Na Cidade Vazia AKA Hollow City (2004)

    2001-2010African CinemaAngolaDramaMaria João Ganga


    N’Dala, one of the orphans from the 30-years war that devastated his country, is brought over to the capital of Angola by missionaries. He rather chooses to run away from the nun who cares for him, to throw himself into the delusion-stricken streets, which will take their toll on the boy’s childhood.
    His tragic past is crisscrossed with people. An older boy, Zé, sees the famous Pepetela’s character, the warrior-boy N’Gunga, in N’Dala. Zé tries to help him surviving in the city, but brings N’Dala into an unavoidable fate. By the sea, far from the general city’s ruin, lives an old fisherman who brings the boy many stories from the ocean. But continuously, N’Dala prefers to run… Survivors and outcasts amid the debris, Joka and Rosita will embrace N’Dala in their own world.Read More »

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