Selection Cannes 1994, 'Un Certain Regard'
Carthago 1994, Special Jury Award
Set in the then Portuguese colony Guinea Bissau in the 1960's, the rice peasant IALA is confronted with losing the authority over his two sons.
RAUL, the elder son, through the help of VITTORIO, the ltalian priest from the little village school, has been sent to the seminary in the big city.
No one knows that he has, in fact, joined the liberation movement against the Portuguese colonial regime.
BEDAN, the younger son, remaining behind in the village, is in opposition to the traditional authority of the village elders.
Moreover, he is also secretly in love with his father's young bride to be!
The village chief QUEBA MANE advises lala to move forward the date of his intended marriage.
At the same time, he orders Bedan to subject himself to the traditional rites of manhood and initiation into love.
The colonial authorities are also in turmoil. The Portuguese administrator of Xime, CUNHA, realises that among his subjects more is brewing than the constant obedience of his house servant would make him believe.
When Raul returns to Xime, events escalate. In the end, they rapidly lead to the violence which forces everyone to make a choice.
Sana Na N'Hada
JBA Films, Paris
Arc du Ciel, Bissau
Melle van Essen