The documentary INDEPENDENCE was born out of the need to preserve history (and the stories) of participants in the struggle for the liberation of Angola. Many are still alive and lucid but few have documented their journey or had the opportunity to talk about what they experienced, outside their family circle and friends.
The film is the result of Project Angola – Pathways to Independence, which brought together the audio-visual producer Geração 80 and the Associação Tchiweka de Documentação (ATD), an institution dedicated to preserving documents and disseminating the history of the struggle for independence. The project started in 2010 aiming to collect as many personal testimonies as possible. The task is urgent, as with each passing day the voice of these important people is being lost. The moment was timely, in a country finally without war and able to draw on historical perspective and with the required serenity.
Between 2010 and 2015, Angola – Pathways to Independence produced more than 1,000 hours of interviews with around 600 participants in the struggle for independence as well as national and international personalities associated with it. Places linked to the liberation struggle were filmed, some for the first time. A number of countries were visited; however, as would be expected, most of the work was carried out in Angola.
A project of this type could generate a number of films. Opting for a documentary like INDEPENDENCE is explained by our sense of obligation to devolve to Angolan society a little of what we received from it and the conviction that, as important as the archive is, it’s necessary to do something for and in the present. If the memory of the older generation is the raw material of this documentary, its target audience is, from the beginning, those generations born after 1975, who did not experience the colonial system and know very little about the past.
INDEPENDENCE presents another image of the Angolan response to colonial rule and of the liberation struggle, from the point of view of those who participated in that struggle.