Sambizanga

Sambizanga, an Angolan film (1972) directed by Sarah Maldoror. Set in Angola during the colonial rule by Portugese, the film depicts a construction worker Domingos Xavier being arrested by the police on suspicions of being a political activist. He has a wife and an infant kid. His wife Maria sets out to find her husband going from one prison to another. Domingos meanwhile is taken as a political prisoner and kept in a prison in a suburb of Luanda called Sambizanga where he is tortured to reveal the names of his co-conspirators. But he refuses till the end. Story somewhat like out Bhagat Singh during the freedom struggle of independence. 


Sarah has used mostly amateur actors in the film. Some of the scenes especially the torture scenes are realistic. Language used is mostly Angolan or a local dialect though i suspect even Portugese is used in the film. Both Domingos Olivera (Domingos Xavier) and Elisa Andrade (Maria) have done a creditable role. There is a realism to the film. Sarah Moldorer was an assistant to Gillo Pontocorvo who made the acclaimed “Battle of Algiers” another political film in 1966. 

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