A searing, indelible portrait of anti-colonial struggle in 1970s Africa, Sarah Maldoror’s adaptation of a novella by the Angolan writer José Luandino Vieira was banned by the Angolan government until the country obtained its independence from Portugal in 1975. Sambizanga follows Maria (unforgettably and alluringly portrayed by Cape Verdean economist Elisa Andrade) as she tries to pick up the pieces after her husband, a secret anti-colonial activist, becomes a political prisoner. Co-written by Maldoror’s husband Mário Pinto de Andrade (himself a leading figure in the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola), Sambizanga is a forceful, stirring evocation of the Angolan population’s plight before the revolution and their intensifying political consciousness during it. Restored by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project and Cineteca di Bologna at L’Image Retrouvée in association with Éditions René Chateau and the family of Sarah Maldoror. Funding provided by Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation. This restoration is part of the African Film Heritage Project, an initiative created by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers and UNESCO—in collaboration with Cineteca di Bologna—to help locate, restore, and disseminate African cinema.
This film has no current screenings