Acção Colonizadora dos Portugueses / Colonial Action of the Portuguese
by António Antunes da Mata and César de Sá
(Documentary, Portugal, 1929, 21', BW, silent, Fr ST)
The aim of this documentary – especially in the subtitles – is to promote the benefits of civilization. The buildings and roads, built by Africans, commanded by settlers. The agricultural facilities, the hospital. Then the camera lingers with a certain fascination on dances – including warriors – and topless women. This curious documentary concludes with two “visions of the future”: a Portuguese dance of white and black schoolchildren, and the graduation of Portuguese teenagers.
The Cinematographic Brigades of 1929
In order to make known the colonies of the Empire in the international exhibitions that are multiplying in Europe, the General Agency of Colonies sends three “Cinematographic Brigades” to Africa. The Army Film Service sends its operator Augusto Seara to the islands of São Tomé and Prince and then to Guinea-Bissau. Another film crew, composed of António Antunes da Mata, director, and operator César de Sá, will bring back from Angola a dozen short films. The Mozambique Brigade is led by Fernandes Tomaz. These teams produced several short films, some of which were presented in the Ibero-American Exhibition in Seville (1929), the International, Colonial, Maritime and Flemish Art Exhibition in Antwerp (1930) and the International Colonial Exhibition in Paris (1931). The four films dated 1929 are particularly interesting for the eclecticism of their subjects and treatments. They reveal that the missions were probably not very defined in terms of content and political objectives.