Still Life

Susana de Sousa Dias

Portugal 2005, 1h 12min.

We know about Portugal as a colonial power and about the atrocities perpetrated in African countries like Angola and Mozambique. We have read about it, we have seen documentaries and reportages. Yet we are completely ignorant of what it was like to live under such oppression.

This film helps us to perceive the trauma experienced by a nation that was systematically tormented by a dictatorship built on – as stressed in a text before the film starts – three pillars: the church, the army and the police. With wordless b/w archive sequences, you the viewer are constantly invited to create your own thoughts and stories behind the faces looking out at you with sad, helpless eyes. How could this happen, you ask yourself. How was it possible to control a nation’s soul like this?

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