Film: Sol de Carvalho, Mabata Bata, 2017

By |May 19th, 2019|Country: , |

A fable set in war-torn Mozambique, based on a short story by Mia Kouto

M IS FOR MOZAMBIQUE and P IS FOR PORTUGAL

It’s not often that you see a fable when you watch a film lately, but perhaps because it’s based on a literary story by Mia Kouto, or for some other reason, Mabata Bata is a fable, and a well tailored one at that. It follows Azarias, a boy in rural Mozambique torn apart by the Civil war, who is not allowed to go to school because he has to fatten the cows for his uncle’s dowry. It’s a dangerous feat when the earth is full of land mines, and one day something terrible happens. Interweaving the monologue of a grown-up Azarias with the magical ritual that his family performs, Mabata Bata becomes a powerful statement on living in disparate conditions. “In times of war, the best plan is to end the war,” Azarias says towards the end, and I couldn’t agree more.

Mabata Bata, 2018
Director: Sol de Carvalho

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