‘Constellations of Ecuador’ revisits the year 1967, when the war of secession in Biafra and the famine it generated sentenced hundreds of thousands of people, particularly children, on the African continent to death.
Half a century later, the film searches for vestiges of the events, through the memory of survivors of the conflict, and the area bridge made between Nigeria and the islands of São Tomé and Príncipe, which was then realized.
The wave of refugees, the extreme situation of survivors, especially women and children, arriving from conflict zones, restricted access to places that hosted them, the lack of information from the colonial administration, the repression of the Portuguese dictatorship and life in a territory still marked by centuries of slavery and forced labor, are verified by Silas Tiny’s film, known for other documentary productions such as ‘O Canto de Ossobó’ (2018) and ‘Bafatá Filme Clube’ (2013).
The film combines local observation, testimonies, archival footage and forgotten historical facts related to the civil war that broke out on May 30, 1967 and the unilateral declaration of independence in Biafra, which constituted one of the first post-colonial conflicts in Africa.
‘Constellations of Ecuador’ is produced by Divina Comédia and supported by the Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual (ICA).
The winner of the international competition, the main one of the festival, was the Brazilian documentary ‘Nuhu yãg mu yõg hãm: This land is ours!’, of indigenous matrix, which exposes the way in which “white men” have stolen land from indigenous people Tikmu’un, in Brazil, through violence and death.
The film was directed by Isael and Sueli Maxakali, two ethnologists and filmmakers of indigenous origin, with Carolina Canguçu and Roberto Romero.
Sheffield DocFest started on the 4th and ended on Sunday.