Films located in South Angola

Cinema and Angola have a long history. As one of the photographers-ethnographers has directed some films located in the region, we explored the regional history of filmmaking, regarding the rural Southern context.

This page is in ongoing development, and aims to gather references of films produced in the region, providing online access, when available. 

It is divided in two sections, the first gathers information about films on the rural context, produced after independence. The second section aggregates information about films produced in the colonial period.

Currently there is a production company based in Lubango, some of its films have circulated in various film festivals worldwide. Based in the city of Lubango, the work of Filmes sem Futuro is worth following.

The Rural Context in post-independence

Angolan Present, Mumuila Time 

[Presente Angolano, Tempo Mumuila], 1979

The series Angolan Present, Mumuila Time is made of 10 episodes produced by the Angolan Popular Television, between 1977 and 1979. 

The series depicts the way of life of the peasant agro-pastoralists Ovanyaneka people, in the rural areas of the Huila province, Southern Angola.

The episodes vary between 20 and 60 minutes, the series’ overall lenght is about 6 hours. Currently only six of the ten episodes of the series are available online, all dubbed versions in Portuguese. Originally shot in 16mm, the online versions were made from DVD.

Directed by Ruy Duarte de Carvalho.

Poster of

O Kimbanda Kambia

41 min

Two meetings with Kimbanda Kambia, a medicine man (kimbanda) practising in the rural areas of Southern Angola.

Copy with two short sound pitches.

Crafts [Ofícios]

25 min

A portrait of skilled crafts such as pottery, blacksmithing, kimbanda (healer) and hairdressing practised among the Ovamwila rural people in the Huila province, in Southern Angola.

Pedra Sozinha Não Sustém Panela

41 min

“The clash between two different worldviews: the Jau elders’ and the faculty of letters students.” Shot between February and July 1978. 

The copy occasionally displays image related issues.

Ondyelwa: Festa do Boi Sagrado

42 min

Every year, the sacred bull parade is a break from the Mumuila calendar during which all heavy work and farm work stop. This film only documents the public moments and events of these celebrations. Shot during the celebrations of the sacred bull in 1978.

Copy with short pitches of sound.

Makumukas

27 min

Portrayal of a ritual of appeasement celebrated among the Ovamwila rural people (Bantu, Ovanyaneka) in the Huila province, Southern Angola. The women sacrifice oxen and lambs in order to communicate with a Mukubal spirit who is disturbing another woman of their community, and urge him through music, clapping and drumming. Shot in June 1977.

Ekwenge: festa de iniciação dos rapazes

25 min

A portrait of Ekwenge, the rite of passage among the young boys, as celebrated by the Ovamwila rural people in the Huila province, in Southern Angola. In Ekwenge, a group of boys heads off to the bush where they will be circumcised and stay until full recovery. Afterwards, the village and their families celebrate together their achievement.

Nelisita: Nyaneka Narratives 

[Nelisita: Narrativas Nyaneka], 1982

64 min, 1982, 16mm, copy from DVD. Production Angolan Institute of Cinema (IAC). Portuguese subtitles

Set during a time of famine, and with only two families surviving, the film charts the struggle of Nelisita, a young man who confronts the spirits with help from animals and his friends. Inspired from two folktales of the Ovanyaneka agropastoralist people in southern Angola.

Inspired by two folktales of the Ovanyaneka people in Southern Angola, narrated by Constantino Tykwa and Valentim, as established by Carlos Estermann in “Cinquenta contos bantu do Sudoeste de Angola” [Fifty Bantu tales from Southern Angola], Ruy Duarte de Carvalho creates a fiction in which the people perform and re-enact their own myths. 

Directed by Ruy Duarte de Carvalho

Honey 

[Huchi], 2013

39 min, doc

The film “Honey” depicts the production of honey from wild bees as well as different aspects of honey consumption in the highlands of central Angola. In the Cusseque area honey is an important means of subsistence and cash income. It is used for medicinal purposes and helped the local people to survive the civil war. Honey is thus deeply imbedded in the local culture. The film was conceived and shot by a group of villagers from the Cusseque area during a participatory film workshop organised for the international research project “The Future Okavango”, investigating resource management in the Okavango Basin.

Directed & shot by Adelina Antónia, Martin Gruber, Miguel S. Hilario, Henriques Bino Job, Fatima Jose & Evaristo Quintas

Making a Living in the Dry Season 

[Fazer pela Vida na Estação Seca], 2016

2016, 35 min, doc, MiniDv, 4:3 letterbox
Angola, UK, Portugal

Set in a highland village, the film is an intimate portrait of the day-to-day life of a family living in an agro-pastoralist farm in Namibe, Angola. 

Directed by Inês Ponte

A Story from Africa

2019, 32 min, photofilm, Portugal

 

Following the 1885 Berlin Conference resolution on the partition of Africa, the Portuguese army uses a talented ensign to register the effective occupation of the territory conquered in 1907 to the Cuamato people, in the south of Angola. A Story from Africa enlivens this rarely seen photographic archive through the tragic tale of Calipalula, the Cuamato nobleman essential to the unfolding of events in this Portuguese pacification campaign.

Directed by Billy Woodberry

The Rural and Films produced in Colonial Times

Morros Salalé: Fronteira B

1928?, 4 min, 16mm, Portugal

Directed by José Luís Gonçalves Canelhas

Access online at the Portuguese Digital Cinematheque, here.

People We Civilized [Gentes Que Nós Civilizámos]

1944, 17 min, 35mm, Portugal

Directed by António Lopes Ribeiro

Access online at the Portuguese Digital Cinematheque, here.

Wild Splendour [Esplendor Selvagem]

1972, 94 min, Portugal

Directed by António de Sousa