Director's Note

While on a trip to Cape Verde in 2013 I came across a biography on Amilcar Cabral written by the Angolan author Antonio Tomás. The pages of that book revealed utopian ideals, ambition, commitment and epic matters that were associated with Cabral throughout his entire life. However, to my surprise, History hasn’t treated him fairly and he remains an unknown character for the big public even though he has a huge dramatic potential.

That is how this project – and our wish for the contemporary European public to become acquainted with Cabral to do justice to such a fascinating character -originated.

After recording some interviews with relatives of Cabral and some ex –freedom fighters in Cape Verde, I confirmed my interest in making a documentary about him.

To mention Cabral’s name in Cape Verde means to awaken mixed (and even contradictory) feelings between his supporters and those who, in retrospect,

question some of his endeavours, like trying to gather in a single nation cultural and social realities as unalike as those there are in a racially mixed Cape Verde, populated by the so called civilized people, and Guinea Bissau, whose population is mainly native.

The colonial wars still give rise to certain feelings of shame amongst the ex – colonial states. In Portugal too, one senses caution when it comes to evaluating what really happened to its colonies or about Cabral’s own image. The armed conflict wasn’t always fair play either by the Portuguese or the PAIGC and although some points of view have changed over time, others have not.

The same applies to the ideas he expressed in his written texts and speeches. Many of them are extraordinarily relevant even at present. His opinions about identity and cultural values still give rise to questions about certain problematic issues that haven’t been solved in the modern European and African societies of today.

“Amilcar” is therefore a homage to a key personality from the 20th Century, aimed at building links between the European spectators and Africa, while at the same time pondering on decolonization, claims for a national culture and some social rights that still haven’t been totally granted.