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by João Viana


A post-colonial narrative in black and white and red. This visually fascinating film incorporates many documentary elements into its story: the references to the historical achievements and cultural traditions of the West African Mandinka; the engagement with the town of Tabatô and the country’s real life musicians; the images of the cinema, cemetery, harbour and marshlands. The old man carries relics from the war in his suitcase. The young people are tired of the frequent putsches. Both have left their mark on the country’s current reality. When the father finally fights his demons and the village musicians seek to banish them by playing on their balafons, it becomes a battle of war versus peace and past versus future.

international title: The Battle of Tabatô
original title: A batalha de Tabatô
country: Guinea, Portugal
year: 2013
genre: fiction
directed by: João Viana
cast: Imutar Djebaté, Fatu Djebaté, Mamadu Baio
cinematography by: Mario Miranda
film editing: José Edgar Feldman
music: Pedro Carneiro
producer: João Viana
production: Papaveronoir Film
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