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by João Viana


The voiceover says at the outset that a madhouse can be different things at different times: slavery, civil war, a puppet regime. Today, it’s a psychiatric hospital in Maputo, bright walls without, dark corridors within, both accentuated by the crisp black and white. Ernania is a patient there, she coaxes music from her bed so enchanting it could carry you away. When the gate is left open one day, she seizes her chance and a journey begins. But the path doesn’t proceed from A to B, but rather from one beguiling location to another, each flowing into the next with logic of a trance: a recording studio, a cinema full of goats, a boat on a tilt on the mudflats. Ernania was always looking for her husband and son and finds them with ease, but somehow they disappear again at will, just like the other strange objects she stumbles across, the aeroplane fashioned from a hospital bed or the statue of wire. When Ernania and her son stare at the sun, they see the whole continent before them, a terrain, like the film, as rich in references and allusions as a dream. The voiceover also says escape lies in dreams, but that was in the past. Today, it’s in your dreams that they sense you’re there.

international title: Our Madness
original title: Our Madness
country: Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Qatar, Portugal, France
year: 2018
genre: fiction
directed by: João Viana
film run: 90'
screenplay: João Viana
cast: Ernania Rainha, Bernardo Guiamba, Hanic Corio, Rosa Mario, Emerson Sanjane, Francisco Muxanga, Mamadu Baio, Janete Mutemba, Jessica Laimo, Francisco Manjate
cinematography by: Sabine Lancelin
film editing: José Edgar Feldman
art director: Marieta Mandjate
producer: François D'Artemare, João Viana, Sol Carvalho, Carlos Vaz
production: Papaveronoir Film, Les Films de l'Après-midi, Promarte (MZ), Telecine Bissau (GW)
backing: Eurimages

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