"In 1973, independence was proclaimed [in Guinea Bissau], ending five centuries of Portuguese colonization and a decade of armed struggle. [This film], Gomes' first feature-length film, portrays this critical period in history through the story of one woman, Diminga, whose husband is fighting on the front lines. The camera captures Cabral's assassination, the ending of hostilities, and the reconstruction of the economically and spiritually devastated country struggling with drought and famine. The term "Mortu Nega" means those that death did not want, and Gomes films a ceremony using 3000 extras, in which survivors call upon the dead, asking them how they can go on living in such terrible conditions"--Le monde Cannes, '96 supplement, May 10.
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