Film from the Frontline
Film from the Frontline was limited to those countries which had the technical facilities to produce commercial films and were able to provide copies that could be screened during the festival. They were shown at the Glasgow Film Theatre, where Olley Maruma (1952-2010), the director of Consequences, led a discussion after the screening, and at the Cornerhouse in Manchester.
Director: Rui Duarte, 1982
Black and white, 63 minutes, Portuguese subtitles
Winner of five international prizes
The adaptation of two oral plays of the Nyaneka people in south west Angola. Starvation leaves just two men and their families alive. One finds food, guarded by ‘ghosts’. All are captured except a pregnant woman. Nelisita is born, scares the ghosts away, rescues the mother and other families and captures the food.
THE TIME OF THE LEOPARD (Mozambique)
Director: Zdruvko Velimirovic
Assistant Director: Camilo de Sousa, 1987
Colour, 60 minutes, English subtitles
The first Mozambique/Yugoslav co-production, set during the independence struggle when victory was already assured. The story centres on a guerrilla unit and its internal tensions, a love affair, and the courage of Pedro, the FRELIMO commander, tortured and killed by a Portuguese Special Forces commando captain.
THE CELEBRATION (Mozambique)
Director: Sol Carvalho
Artistic Director: David Abilio, 1989
Colour, 27 minutes, English translation
‘The Celebration’ was made to showcase the work of the National Dance Company of Mozambique, which was formed in 1979 under the direction of the Ministry of Culture. Although the film was not shown during the Frontline States festival in 1990, it is shown here for the first time.
WOMEN OF HOPE (Tanzania)
Directors: Martin Mhando and Sigve Endressen, 1985
Colour, 56 minutes, English subtitles
The first co-production between Norway and Tanzania. It tells the story of a group of Tanzanian women who want to start a pottery cooperative. They find the going difficult in the face of male bureaucracy. Meanwhile a Norwegian girl, Sigrun, finds her personal life in tatters. She joins the cooperative, and together they make their dream a reality.
THE MARRIAGE OF MARIAMU (Tanzania)
Directors: Nangayoma Ng’oge and Ron Mulvihill, 1985
Set in contemporary Tanzania, the film centres around the art and science of healing through traditional medicine. When Mariamu suffers from a serious illness, she and those close to her find themselves in conflict with their traditional values.
Director: Olley Maruma, 1988
Colour, 54 minutes, English soundtrack
Winner of seven international awards
Rita is sixteen, a bright, talented girl looking forward to university. Then she becomes pregnant. Her school work suffers. She breaks up with her boyfriend, and is thrown out of her home in shame. A year later she is lucky enough to find employment, but can no longer relate to her old school friends, and is afraid to establish new relationships.