The documentary portrays the Guinean town of Unal, a village of rice farmers whose population played a crucial role in the liberation struggle against Portuguese colonialism in Guinea-Bissau, the first to get involved in the armed struggle, mobilising ancestral spirits, the Irãs. Even today, every gesture of the rice cycle is haunted by the memory of war, a trauma also inscribed in their rituals, bodies, landscape, and music. Fogo no Lodo is thus an engaging approach to a complex dynamic where religious forms and political turbulence intersect and merge to claim the future of this community in contemporary Guinea-Bissau.
In a press release, the directors say that “the historical experience of the village of Unal during the liberation war against Portuguese colonialism in Guinea-Bissau was what led us to make the documentary”. The “common interest in the complex human experience of war through cinema, in that specific geography of southern Guinea-Bissau” is what brought Catarina and Daniel together in this joint project. “The film became a broader project about the memory of the liberation war, the current tension between the community and the state, the complex religious diversity, and the work in the rice paddies that is one of the community’s economic pillars.”
In addition to the premiere screening, on the morning of 25 October there will be another screening of the documentary, this time at Culturgest, which will be followed by the inaugural session of the 2023-2024 cycle of the IHC’s History and Image Workshop, where the public will have the opportunity to talk to Catarina Laranjeiro and Daniel Barroca about the process of making this project, which was also a research project.
The film was produced by Rui Ribeiro, Elsa Sertório and Ansgar Schaefer (Kintop), with executive production by Catarina Laranjeiro and funding from the Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual (Ministry of Culture).
Deadline: 18 January 2024
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Feb 2, 2024
The IHC could not miss the call
Jan 25, 2024
They were awarded the prize in the Lusophone Studies and Research Category.