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  • Cinema on the cultural front: Filmmaking and the Mozambican revolution

Gray, Ros, 2012, Journal Article, Cinema on the cultural front: Filmmaking and the Mozambican revolution Journal of African Cinemas, 3 (2). ISSN 17549221

Abstract or Description:

This article, for a special issue on lusophone African cinemas, analyses how, during the armed struggle and the revolution that followed independence in Mozambique, filmmaking was understood as operating on the ‘cultural front’ of an international struggle against capitalist imperialism. Shortly after independence in 1975, The Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) established an Instituto Nacional de Cinema (INC), and Maputo became a key site in a network of African liberationist filmmaking that had been emerging since the late 1960s. Gray argues that in a country in which most of the population had no prior experience of the moving image, cinema offered FRELIMO the possibility of mobilising around a new identity based on revolutionary nationalism, and teaching the Mozambican people about how the radical transformations of decolonisation connected them to other peoples struggling for emancipation across the world.
Gray explores how the moving image operated as an agent of social change, and how this involved decolonising filmmaking itself – in all its modes of production, distribution and screening. She conducted numerous interviews with filmmakers, government ministers and others, as well as in-depth analyses of films and documentaries not discussed in detail in previous scholarly overviews of Mozambican filmmaking during the revolutionary period. Some of the films discussed were recovered from filmmakers’ personal archives and archives in Mozambique, the UK, Serbia and Lisbon.
Gray gave related talks and lectures at numerous venues, including: ‘Para uma História do Cinema em Moçambique’, Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo (2010); ‘Building an African presence’, Columbia University, New York (2010); Otolith Group roundtable discussion of Jean-Luc Godard’s Changer d’Image, Tate Britain, London (2010); ‘The paths to revolt: Cinema, images and revolutions in the 1960s and 1970s’ (keynote), Musée du quai Branly, Paris (2011); ‘Reconstruction work’ symposium (lecture and panel participant), Liverpool Biennial, The Bluecoat (2012).

Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W600 Cinematics and Photography > W630 History of Cinematics and Photography
School or Centre: School of Humanities
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1386/jac.3.2.139_1
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2013 19:00
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2014 12:00
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1452

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