Editor's Subject: REVIEW: Mortu Nega [film on Guinea-Bissau]

A great contrast is seen between the relationship between Diminga and Sako and that of Flame and her two lovers. The marriage of Diminga and Sako was portrayed as being loving, tender and enduring. At no time did Sako raise his hand to hurt Dminga. However, Flame, in turn, suffered from the victimization of rape, perpetrated by her first lover. She also endured domestic violence, and was battered by her second lover. Whereas Diminga and Sako stayed together "forever," neither of Flame's loves were everlasting. Diminga "won" in the art of love, but Flame lost all that she had. In "Mortu Nega," Sako demonstrated that he was respectful of Diminga. But the men who became involved with Flame, lacked respect for her.

Author's Subject: REVIEW: Mortu Nega [film on Guinea-Bissau]

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Sorry, you missed Mortu nega at Ketelhuis Cinema.

the first docufiction film from Guinea Bissau, Mortu Nega follows a couple through their fight in the Guinea Bissau War of Independence against the Portuguese. directed by Flora Gomes.

Sorry, you missed Mortu nega at Ketelhuis Cinema.

Cinema in Guinea-Bissau thrived for some years after independence but after the coup d’état in 1980 it stopped being a governmental priority (with the exception of one of the most important Guinean productions, MORTU NEGA (1988), by Flora Gomes) and with outbreak of the Civil War in 1998 it was completely abandoned.

You missed Mortu nega at Ketelhuis Cinema.
of Mortu Nega from California Newsreel available online

of Mortu Nega by Professor available online

Although "Flame"- banned due to the fact that it was thought to be subversive and pornographic (i.e. the rape scene) received a more controversial reaction in Africa, both it and "Mortu Nega" deal not only with the social situations of modern- day Africa and post-war disillusionment, they also strive to commemorate the past (each country's independence) and change both the present and future social climate of both nations.

of Mortu Nega from California Newsreel available online

of Mortu Nega by Professor available online

Mortu Nega covers the period from January 1973 during the closing months of the war against the Portuguese until the consolidation of an independent Guinea-Bissau in 1974 and 1975. This tiny West African nation's valiant struggle and eventual triumph over 500 years of Portuguese domination attracted international support and heralded the final anti-colonial wave culminating in the defeat of apartheid in 1994. The revolution's charismatic leader, the Cape Verdean agronomist, Amilcar Cabral, was assassinated on the eve of victory in January 1973 by Portuguese assisted mainland nationalists. The fragile union between Guinea-Bissau and the Cape Verde islands itself was finally dissolved in a bloodless military coup in 1980 led by an old guerilla commander, the present president, João Bernardo Vieira. When the post-revolutionary generation in the military and the population as a whole began to oppose Vieira's increasingly kleptocratic regime, he called in troops from Senegal and Guinea (Conakry) resulting in the carnage of June, 1998.

Mortu Nega 1987

California Newsreel - MORTU NEGA

Mortu Nega, as its title implies, is a unique kind of elegy – not so much to the victims of the liberation struggle as to its survivors….is a bittersweet eulogy to those veterans who gave so much yet often benefited so little from the struggle. The film poses a question facing much of Africa at the start of the 21st century: with the goal of independence achieved, what can serve as an equally unifying and compelling vision around which to construct a new society? Or as Chris Marker observed in his 1980 documentary San Soleil, coincidentally contemplating the decay of Guinea-Bissau’s revolution: “What every revolutionary thinks the morning after victory: now the real problems begin.”