Icarus Films • 52m
Directed by Margarida Cardoso • Documentary • 2003 • 52 minutes
The first cultural act of the nascent Mozambique Government after independence in 1975 was to create the National Institute of Cinema (INC). The new president Samora Machel had a strong awareness of the power of the image, and understood he needed to use this power to build a socialist nation. INC's goal was to film the people, and to deliver these images back to the people. Reflecting the country's commitment to independence and socialism, the history of the INC and the films it produced cannot be disassociated from the movement embodied by Samora Machel and FRELIMO (Mozambique Liberation Front). Footage from the films - found by filmmaker Margarida Cardoso in an abandoned, burnt out building - show Mozambique's trajectory from great hope to great disillusionment. Weaving these images together with interviews of the people who produced them, KUXA KANEMA constructs a history of the birth and death of local cinema, and the birth and death of an ideology. Directors, screenwriters, technicians return to the INC to view the footage, and discuss their industry as a unique testimonial to the country, its struggles and wars. Today, the People's Republic of Mozambique is simply the Republic of Mozambique. Samora Machel's death marked the end of Mozambique's cinema (the current government prefers television). There is nothing left of the INC. The forgotten images that captured the first eleven years of independency - the years of the socialist revolution - are rotting, taking with them both the history of a period, and the history of hope. "The best film I've seen this year! One of the finest films about filmmaking ever created. Rarely has any film-related documentary presented its subject with such skill, maturity and intelligence... The interviews are professional, cogent and...
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