Cabralista - A Political Sermon

Quick Thoughts: Cabratlista (2011)

Made by Valerio Lopes, this is the Cabo Verdan (Cape Verdan) film of the series.

Less a documentary about Amílcar Cabral - a significant African anti-colonialist who lead a nationalist movement, later waged war, against the Portuguese governments in Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde - and more a platform for self-proclaimed Cabralists to exposit their passion and ideals, Cabralista was a bit of a let-down. In such, 10 minutes of surface-level reading on what Cabral achieved was far more interesting than the heavy exposition provided by this narrative.

However, with that said, I can appreciate the deep dive that is attempted in this documentary that skips over the more cinematic elements of Cabral's life and focuses on the man's ideas. However, the combination of constant talking and flashy editing (which, as a singular entity, is pretty good - apart from many of the soundtrack choices) made this film a little bit of a headache. This is primarily because I had to read dense subtitles and somehow keep up with the storm of lights and images as they flew past. If this narrative was better paced with much of the repetitive blocks of dialogue taken out, it could have had room to breath, space for more on Cabral himself and a greater focus on concise points. After all, having just finished this movie, I couldn't recall even half of the points made as everything blended into a long sermon with the word "culture" said almost a thousand times throughout.

I don't want to bash this movie too hard, however, as it did introduce many ideas and a figure I had never heard about before. But, I ultimately think this wasn't aimed for me, rather, potential Cabralist and young Africans. Seen as such, the choice of cast and the recruitment lecture that this seems to be make much more sense. So, if you are interested in politics and the views of young Africans on colonialism and activism, I would give this film a go, if not, maybe there is something to take away from this documentary, but it may be an arduous ride.

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