Ghosts of an Empire / Fantasmas do Império
(Documentary, Portugal/France, 2020, 112', C/BW, Fr ST)
by Ariel de Bigault
with João Botelho, Margarida Cardoso, Ivo M. Ferreira, Fernando Matos Silva, Hugo Vieira da Silva
Ghosts of an Empire explores the colonial imagination in Portuguese cinema since the beginning of the 20th century. Seven Portuguese filmmakers and two African actors open the coffers of memory. They scrutinize and comment on the representations of a real past, re-invented or repressed: the myths of discoveries, the imperial fiction factory, the masks of violent domination. The documentaries and fictions that legitimize the exploitation of peoples and glorify a Portuguese identity and mission respond to films, especially those of the seven filmmakers, who tell a completely different story and bring critical perspectives, other views on the real past.
Gathering very diverse cinematic fragments, Ghosts of an Empire illuminates the variations and evolutions of looks, especially on “the other”. By playing on counterpoints, echoes, contrasts between situations, images, dialogues, the film weaves a web of imaginations and attitudes, memories and emotions. And it questions the persistence of ghosts in the cinematographic present.
Other movies: Season France-Portugal 2022
by Ivo Ferreira
by Fernando Matos Silva
by Manuel Antunes Amor