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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Empire Cinema: propaganda and censorship in colonial films during the Portuguese Estado Novo
Author:Carmo Piçarra, Maria do
Periodical:Journal of African Cinemas (ISSN 1754-923X)
Geographic term:Mozambique
colonial period
Abstract:Aiming to provide a critical analysis of the filmic memorial of Portuguese colonialism the author considers two alternative 'visions of cinema': the official version presented in Estado Novo propaganda newsreels, and, in 'reverse shot', the disruptive gaze found in censored auteur fiction films: Faria de Almeida's 'Catembe' (1965), Lopes Barbosa's 'Deixem-me ao menos subir às Palmeiras...' (1972) and António de Sousa's 'Esplendor selvagem' (1972). Portuguese colonies were seldom depicted on film, and only the 'right kind' of images, specifically those presented in propaganda newsreels, tended to be approved by the censorship committees. Faria de Almeida received government support to film everyday life in Mozambique's capital, in 1964. After the first version of the film was censored, with 103 cuts, a Guinness world record, projection of Catembe was banned. In 1972, Barbosa made a film about abuses of power in colonial farms in Mozambique. The film was banned. Sousa recorded initiation rituals and rites of passage in different Angolan ethnic groups. The documentary was considered 'anti-political'. Until conducting this research, the films remained deposited at the Portuguese Cinema Museum, largely unknown to audiences and researchers. What are the limitations of the history of cinema and of the knowledge of the 'imagined man' as long as the perspectives provided in such censored colonial films remain unanalysed? Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]