SCREENWRITER: Sana na N’Hada
SOUND: Didio Pestana
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jenny Lou Ziegel
EDITOR: Filipa César
PRODUCERS: Filipa César, Olivier Marboeuf, Maria João Mayer | Spectre Productions, Filmes do Tejo II
Spell Reel documents the digitization process of the film archives from Guinea Bissau’s National Film Institute, started in 2011 by Filipa César and filmmakers Sana na N’Hada and Flora Gomes in collaboration with Arsenal (Berlin). The surviving images demonstrate the importance of cinema in the decolonization programme of Amilcar Cabral, leader of the PAIGC assassinated in 1973. By fostering the digital restoration of the images of the birth of a nation, César’s project highlights the performative function of cinema. A structural and analytical film, Spell Reel critically reconsiders the notion of “archive” and the processes of compilation and digitization. There is a historical cartography, in which the revision of the history of the liberation struggle is combined with a critical deconstruction of the forms of militant cinema. The palimpsest-screen scatters the space-time coordinates, revealing the material and discursive itineraries of the archive and noticeably transposing certain principles of Cabral’s theory of culture.