Acto dos Feitos da Guiné / Acts of Guinea-Bissau

(Docu-fiction, Portugal, 1980, 86', C, Fr ST)

by Fernando Matos Silva

with José Gomes and Virgílio Massinge

Acto dos Feitos da Guiné


The Carnation Revolution is over. Independent Guinea-Bissau is in the grip of violent rifts. Matos reviews the images he shot 10 years ago: the landscapes of water and land, the gestures of the peasant, the traditional dance, the typographers of the printing press, the dancing of the dancers, the streets of Bissau. Acto dos Feitos da Guiné combines a personal and historical perspective. The diary of the young captain filmmaker dialogue with a theatrical, ironic and offbeat gesture, of emblematic figures of imperial history to which respond archival and documentary images, especially directors who have toured with the separatist guerrilha.


«Acto dos Feitos da Guiné is a huge travelling through five hundred years of history, a huge tragedy of pleasure and death. The characters come from the past to intervene in the present. It is also a look at our apocalypse.» Fernando Matos Silva

Acto dos Feitos da Guiné is the first Portuguese feature film on colonization, war and independence.  “It’s a combat film, to tell the truth, that we had to talk about at the time. What colonialism is, the presence of the white man in Africa.”

Film Author :

Fernando Matos Silva
Fernando Matos Silva

Fernando Matos Silva, born in 1940, director, editor and producer, is the author of about twenty feature-length documentaries and fiction. He studied on a scholarship at the London Film School and then, in the 1960s, worked as an assistant to the young filmmakers of Cinema Novo, Paulo Rocha and Fernando Lopes, and became involved in the anti-salazarist struggle. In 1969, like thousands of men of his generation, he was sent to the front, captain in the film service in Guinea-Bissau, then in Angola in 1971. The images he shoots for him, with his Arriflex and the film he brought in secret, will be the starting point of Acto dos Feitos da Guiné, made ten years later. His first feature-length fiction, O Mal Amado (1973) was banned by the regime. In 1974, he was put in the confidence of the coup de force prepared by the captains, his former comrades, and thus became the first to film, with the same team that accompanied him in Guinea, the main events of April 25. He participates in the collective work Caminhos da Liberdade and engages on the front of struggles and cinema, with documentaries that examine the Portuguese society in full transformation. For several years, he directed a television magazine dedicated to cinema. Several of his works deal with contemporary history: Meu Nome É… (1978), A Guerra do Mirandum (1981) and O Meu Avo Republicano (2012).

Other movies: Season France-Portugal 2022

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