Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Sambizanga (Sarah Maldoror, 1972)

Sunday 12 November 2023, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: SAMBIZANGA * 1972 * Directed by Sarah Maldoror * 97 Minutes * In Lingala and Portuguese, with English subtitles * Doors open at 20:00, intro & film start at 20:30.

This flick takes place during the Portuguese occupation of Angola and focuses on the liberation struggle of African people living under a dictatorship and secret police force. And although there are freedom fighters that are being rounded up and arrested, this film was directed by a woman and therefore she gives it a more unusual and personal perspective. Different from most movies about colonialism, this one is much more intimate, moves at a human speed, and follows the plight of a single mother’s experience when her husband is arrested and disappears. She goes from police station to police station, from prison to prison, searching for him and what she experiences is a labyrinthine Kafkaesque bureaucracy.

It is based on the 1961 novella The Real Life of Domingos Xavier by José Luandino Vieira. When the film was made Angola was still under a dictatorship, and therefore the film had to be shot in the Congo. Many of the so-called actors in the film are real people that were working in the liberation movements at the time. Two years after the film was made a left-wing coup overthrew the government and liberated the country from the Portuguese. This film created an incredible historical president, helping people to understand what was happening on a grass-roots cultural level. Although the situation is harsh, director Sarah Maldoror was able to create a film of pure poetry. The cinematography shimmers, and one critic compared it to a Caravaggio painting.

This will be a high definition screening.

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Free entrance. You want to screen a movie, let us know: joe [at] lists [dot] squat [dot] net