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Volume 27, Issue 2-3
  • ISSN: 1364-971X
  • E-ISSN: 1758-9150



This article analyses Portuguese documentary films from the 1990s, when public discussions about the war of decolonization gained a new dynamic. The video series Guerra Colonial. Histórias de Campanha (Quirino Simões, 1998) relates the war in Angola, Guinea and Mozambique mainly by drawing on archival material and voice-over narration. Margarida Cardoso’s Natal 71 (1999) concentrates on specific episodes and individual experiences of the war in Mozambique. This article explores how the aforementioned films use certain strategies to include footage, other visual representations and audiovisual testimonies in order to create a specific image of the past. The leading question is not how much truth these films contain, but rather which techniques they implement in order to produce truth, authenticity and evidence about the war and the people involved. I will argue that documentary productions constitute a form of memory politics in which discussion and negotiation of the colonial past are brought forward from particular social frameworks situated in the present.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): archive; documentary film; memory; Mozambique; Portugal
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