Sala 02 – “Mueda 79”, by Catarina Simão.

Mueda 79 | The Mozambique Archive Series
Stereo sound, HD Video color, 11 ’
Direction: Catarina Simão
Editing: Fernanda Gurgel
Lisbon, 2013

Mueda 79 is a careful reading of a sequence taken from “Mueda, Memória e Massacre”, a Mozambican film made by Ruy Guerra in 1979. The excerpt shows the record of a popular theater staged in Mueda, in the Province of Cabo Delgado. Tiago and Modesta wait to be received by the Administrator, not without first having to endure verbal and physical humiliation. Modesta’s scarf is ripped from her head, making her dizzy and irritated. Only whites had the right to be covered with a hat inside. But even before the two are escorted into the Post, the handkerchief is pulled and returned, only to be able to be snatched up ahead, violently, by the sepoys. It is at this moment that the initial statement of the film is changed: the introduction of a take inside the Administrative Post allows the action to continue when Modesta and Tiago enter. But the movement of the two characters is interrupted by the Interpreter when they arrive at the door of the Administrator’s room. It is a warning not to cross the border drawn in the air by the movement of the arm: ‘do not touch the white table’. The film Mueda, Memória e Massacre was considered the first fiction film by the People’s Republic of Mozambique. Guerra wanted to demonstrate that fiction, always considered more by the industry than documentary, could be achieved using only a few elements of reality. The rest of the world since then has not followed the ethical and aesthetic criteria to which this film contributed, but he recalls that an essential element has been lost.