60min . color . 16:9 . BMPCC
In the blue hues of dawn, by a stationary merry-go-round, young people stagger home as workers in suits make their way to work. Radio Maputo Nakuzandza, 5:15 am: the first lights of day illuminate this magnificent opening shot. After immersing us in the daily life of the great city of Maputo, capital of Mozambique, the film comes to a close as night falls. Ariadine Zampaulo elegantly orchestrates an urban symphony whose findings never cease to surprise us, such as the radio program which runs as a common thread alongside a choreographed dérive. The words of residents and ambient sounds broadcast are interwoven unexpectedly into the sequences, to make the city heard in a film that is in constant, meandering movement. Figures meet then lose each other in the immense urban space: a jogger roams the main arteries of the city from morning to evening, a tourist with Keatonian gestures wanders around, a young fiancée having escaped from her wedding drifts like a ghost. In blending documentary- style shots, fictional scenes and dance performances in the ruins of abandoned buildings, Zampaulo composes a kaleidoscopic portrait of Maputo rather than following a single track. The urban landscape reveals the traces of its colonial past while the verses of the greatest Mozambican poets resound. In a sweeping yet precise gesture, Ariadine Zampaulo seeks to comprehend the city through its multiple branches, embracing History and the immediacy of the present. A film-poem with polyphonic prose, Maputo Nakuzandza (“Maputo I Love You”) is nothing less than an ode to the city, and to life.
(Louise Martin Papasian, FID MARSEILLE)