Kanimambo: three takes on everyday heroes in Mozambique
by Sergio Ríos Pérez
27/04/2012 - In Kanimambo, a real alien among other Spanish films at the moment, three young filmmakers are given free reign to tell a story about their trips to Mozambique, without any constraints in genre. The film is directed by Adán Aliaga, Carla Subirana, and Abdelatif Hwidar and was recently presented at the 15th Málaga Spanish Film Festival, to close tomorrow April 28.
This production by Sergio Castellote and Lluís Miñarro, respectively for Hispanocine and Eddie Saeta, started off as a collaboration with a non-governmental organisation working in Mozambique. The two segments directed by Aliaga and Hwidar are fiction, rooted in a mixture of genres. In her segment, Subirana opts for documentary in a sort of carnet de voyage about African women, who take on the form of Madalena, who she met during her first stay in the country. The three directors travelled twice to the country, first to conduct research and then to film.
The theme that links the three stories together is the search for everyday heroes in small, intimate stories, from Joana, the young deaf girl who takes a blind musician to the market every day, to the doctor of a rural clinic who has to patiently make up for its lack of means.
Kanimambo, which means “thank you” in Tsonga, the language spoken in the area of the capital Maputo, is full of good intentions and respect to its characters, and tries desperately to avoid being condescending. The three directors’ points of view, each very personal, do however clearly mark them as outsiders, which makes for a few slightly unnatural moments.
Made with less than €1m, a very modest budget in view of the cost of travel to Mozambique, the film still has no distributor although its producers hope for a release this autumn.
(Translated from Spanish)