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ProjectoTrilhos_REEL_03

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I thought that you spoke Portuguese. Now, we are going to need someone to translate. Well, let’s wait a bit to see if we can find someone to do the translation. When we had other languages, we used a translator. Obviously using an intermediary makes direct access more difficult. When the journalist Kapiassa came, I was already there. He came from the Soviet Union. Who was this journalist? He came from the Soviet Union. When people are interviewed in Portuguese, mainly people in remote areas of the country, sometimes what they express in Portuguese isn't exactly what they would like to say. I believe that the fact of expressing themselves in their local language enables the interviewees to be more at ease and perhaps to transmit their message more clearly. You can begin. Begin! Let’s go! Who is going to attack who? - Those guerrillas. The guerrillas are the ones who are going to attack you? And are you ready? Yes, we are! Viva Angola! Viva! Viva MPLA! Viva! Victory? Is certain! Victory? Is certain! One of the things we decided, right at the beginning, was to make a film to show in the different zones we happened to be. That helps, not only to get to know people and create a more informal atmosphere, but also people remembered things. Whatever the struggle, without women that struggle doesn't make progress. Because women bring so much. They put the cassava in water; they take it out again... It ended up creating an atmosphere in which people could talk easily. We showed photographs. People remember better because they are not sitting down under the glare of lights, etc. They are in a more informal atmosphere and talk about other things. Who was Samwimbila for UNITA at that time? At the time, Samwimbila was Commander. He was Commander of the First Company. Being in this sorrowful place, where our companion was taken from us... Well, we can only lament his death. We had very little time in each place and there was never enough time. Sometimes we did 10 hours of interviews a day. Obviously when you have this kind of interview, you can't reach the essence of each one of the people concerned. You explore only specific aspects. You try and address topics that in retrospect will make sense when put together. Roll 262. Scene A. Take 1. Each group later will go and explain. You must not be afraid. Now, we are going to cross the border to combat the Portuguese colonialist. We are going to take up arms. Right! We are going to act in secret. Here in Zambia nobody will know this. Preparation was in Sikongo... Yes, Yes. Who were the main leaders of the Fifth Military Region Command who were appointed at that time? There we had comrade Wandundu. You can't talk of the struggle in the east of the country without speaking of Zambia. The fight in the east of Angola begins after the independence of Zambia. For that reason, in this Project it was always our intention to make this trip to Zambia. My name is Tony Frederico Mwakavula "Povo que Luta". This was our transit camp. Our supplies came from Dar-es-Salam… After Dar-es-Salaam, they came as far as here. Here our guerrillas from inside Angola came to get material to fight against the Portuguese. What is this place called? Kassamba. It's called Kassamba. These iron bars must be bent over... those there. Strike them with these tubes. Otherwise we'll have problems with the tyres. Bend these over like the others. Film over here. I don't want to see my supplies at the bottom of the river. For this big 90-day journey, as regards the cars, we had foreseen difficult situations, even worse than those we faced, but we managed to overcome all the disasters which happened on the mechanical side. We ended up having one of the cars towed back to Luanda, whilst we were still working in the Province of Kwanza Sul. 35 kilometres from Waku Kungo is mount Tongo, where the South Africans had their stronghold. They had occupied mount Tongo. They arrived there before the Cuban forces, and our troops couldn't resist their offensive. Then, of course, we had to destroy the bridge over the River Nhia which we also had the opportunity to see. An important thing I could notice – since in relation to most of the filming I saw it later, I was not a participant – it was the commitment of the whole team to their work. For example, I remember the three-month trip they made to regions in the east and centre of Angola. And the way everyone reacted very well to this type of work is, I think, an important issue. For this team of town dwellers, finding themselves in the mountains and flood plains, crossing rivers in canoes and other things, this was certainly a physically demanding experience and one that must have also given them much satisfaction. From January 2013, after four years of Project Trilhos, Jorge and I thought that it was time to start focussing our energies and design and prepare the Documentary. São Neto and I began to focus on the production of the Documentary. Opting for a Documentary was part of our obligation to devolve, in some way, to Angolan society what we are taking from it. This work is meant to be useful. And as important as the archive is for the future, we want this work to be worthwhile now, in the present. … And if only with the testimonies and with the images that we have included so far, it's already possible to understand what we want to communicate with the Documentary. Really what is going to effectively stand out, for all of us, more than the archives, will be the Documentary. This will be a major landmark in the Project. That initial idea of the Documentary, when I began thinking about it in 2009, it has changed completely, above all with input from Geração 80. We had one big advantage, we started from an existing project, which had an experienced team, and this enabled us to do the Documentary. Now, whilst on the subject of the Project, we can say that this base team did practically the whole Project, well, in the case of the Documentary that's not true. This is because there are specific services which we didn't manage to find in Angola. That’s how we ended up working with Other Features, also a rather small company but very, very committed. Obviously this Documentary would be underpinned by the collection of data we had done. And when we began to discuss, more concretely, what the Documentary was to be, we didn't want to do a series, but a two-hour film. And knowing that we had a thousand hours of interviews, seven hundred people… the first thing to understand is that most things are going to be left out because it's not possible to put all, not all the people in the Documentary. And selecting, I believe that it's one of the most difficult things to do. Mário, São and Paulo played a very important role in this selection process i.e. what stays in and what is taken out. And I think this is the most difficult part when you have such an extensive archive. For all of us, I think, what hurt most was to cut interesting parts of the film. Cutting the narrator's text, when you can use the image, it doesn't hurt too much. The hard part was: “this can't be included”, “that's too much”, “That's a lot of information”, this is their version… It's a lot of information, a lot of information, so cut, cut… The historian always wants to include more information; we want to include more poetic moments. Perhaps in the end it won't be understood… after you cut and cut… it won't be understandable. For this Documentary we clearly defined a target audience i.e. the generation born after independence, which didn't know the colonial system and who has little information on what went on in the past. Then, I believe that the Documentary will be very important in that sense. I suppose we were a bit ambitious. Within the liberation struggle there are a number of themes. But we thought it was important for the Documentary to be more wide-ranging, more general. A documentary which would start conversations on the subject. We wouldn't develop a specific theme, but we were going to speak about the struggle for independence in general, which would reveal that this struggle was not the struggle of only one generation, but that several generations participated in the struggle. And this was their memory. Forty years. We became independent forty years ago. What does this mean to us today? What do we remember of our struggle? This film will incite people’s curiosity and I believe that is important. It's important that, at the end, we manage to reflect a little on this period of our struggle for independence and on that process… so that we are able to extract something which has resonance for the present day. Now this will be it, and I believe, it fulfils the role of showcasing a part of work done. But it will always be little in comparison to our desire to know more and more. And it will always be little compared to the potential which exists in the material. After the official end of the Project and after people knowing about the Project and having seen the film, I would like more people who participated in the struggle to come and share their testimony. And I hope that the Project won't be seen as something finished. Let’s hope it continues and it's like a house you come into and you give your testimony, if you participated in the struggle. Really the first task of ATD, before sharing with the public, is to guarantee that this material is not lost. We have to guarantee that storage is adequate. That's easy to sum up, but in practice it's a challenging task. Above all because it implies human resources and money, these are two things that ATD has difficulty with. But of course our main objective is to make it accessible to the public. Obviously the expectations of a project which collects data are always to constitute an archive that goes further than we are going to go. Everyone dies. We all disappear. If you manage to constitute an archive of memory, an archive of testimonies and this can be passed on to future generations… this is the greatest expectation that I have with this kind of work. . What I didn't expect was that we should get so far, in terms of quantity, diversity and the quality of interviews. This was surprising and extremely gratifying For me, this project is welcome. Let’s hope that this project extends from north to south and to the east. In this way tomorrow historians can write history. For example, if I ask that young man over there, or either of them: “What is the history of Angola?” they might not be able to give me an answer. All the work done with the Geração 80 team is now finished. But the idea of the Project, in our opinion, doesn't end here. It will continue. Including with other people, with other associations. Now, more than ever, while there are still many people alive. The Project's idea will continue because of this.

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Posted by: geracao80 on Jul 13, 2015

ProjectoTrilhos_REEL_03

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