Spell Reel

Spell Reel
Director: Filipa César

Germany, Portugal, France, Guinea-Bissau, 2017, documentary, 96 minutes, portuguese, fula, Guinea-Bissau creole, english, french with english and lithuanian subtitles, N-7

Spell Reel, the feature length debut from Portuguese filmmaker and artist Filipa César, offers a unique insight into a crucial period in the history of Guinea-Bissau and explores the role of moving image in forming the political context and national identity of this West African nation. This film is the result of a multifaceted research and digitisation project started in 2011 with Sana na N‘Hada and Flora Gomes. Gomes and na N‘Hada are filmmakers who documented the Guinea-Bissau independence wars (1963 – 1974) from Portugal, which had colonised the country for centuries. There films were not seen for decaded and were decaying until César and her collaborators undertook the task to digitise this unique footage in Berlin. Afterwards, the directors travelled to the places where the footage had originally been shot and showed it to audiences for the first time. Spell Reel is an archive between past and present, an intersection between the personal and the political.

About the director:

Filipa César was born in 1975, in Porto, Portugal. She is an artist and a filmmaker. Initially she studied painting at the University of Porto and the University of Lisbon. In 2008, she completed an MA in Art in Context at Berlin University of the Arts. Since 2001, Filipa César has exhibited her artworks in exhibitions in several different countries. She began making films in 2007. Her films and installations have been exhibited at Locarno, Berlin and London International film festivals, also Tate Modern, Kunsthalle Wien, the Venice Biennale and elsewhere. César‘s ouevre explores the porous boundaries between the moving image and its audience, fiction and documentary, politics and poetry inherenc to cinema praxis.

Section: Ocean for Earthly Survival

Screenplay: Sana na N’Hada

Dir. of Photography: Jenny Lou Ziegel