It’s budget is 1.500 000 euros and it will be produced by Papaveronoir Filmes and Films de l’ Aprés Midi with African partners from Mozambique(Promarte) and Guiné-Bissau (Telecine), being financed by the ACP-European Commission partnership, CNC (France) and ICA (Portugal). It will be filmedon 35 mm film. Its script has just been selected by the Cannes Film Festival Cinefondation 2015.
My inspiration to make this film is rooted in the feeling that there is a revival under way in Africa of which this small work is a drop in the ocean. During the course of the last five centuries Africa has been the victim of others. In the 21st century it appears reborn, full of vitality for the first time after all these centuries. I don’t want to make an apologia of Africa, nor of Mozambique. I simply want to tell a story. But what is behind this story, what inspires me, is the sentiment that we Africans are for the first time in five centuries breathing freely and in all possible artistic ways areexpressing ourselves about ourselves, the cinema being my form of expression! We are a very old continent which, contrary to the others, did not cut its ties with the ancient times.
On the contrary, there is a continuity in us Africans since the origins of time until today. Maybe this is our strength and the strength of our future cinematography. We feel as if everything that is important has happened here in this land, that we had to leave our homes to go to the diaspora for the period of some miserable five centuries because some Europeans of sad memory rode on our backs, but that we have now returned to Africa stronger and more upright than when we departed.
The Celacanto, the famous prehistoric fish which bears witness to the vertebrates conquering the earth and who appeared 400 million years ago, is still living here (in the waters between Mozambique and Madagascar), and thought and language (the Neandertal man’s and mankind’s) was born not far away from Mozambique in an African savannah. Modern culture also was born 44,000 years ago very close from here amidst a people called San (on the borderbetween South Africa and Swaziland).But just like the Celacanto that was already old when the dinosaurs appeared and is still today swimming in these waters, the people San (who invented modern culture) are also still living in the same place today.
Human thought, born less than 26 million years ago when survival was the order of the day and the humans were forced to establish bonds and form groups, our dear capacity of thought (theory of the mind, faculty to mentally travel through time, recursiveness), born here in a savannah continues to be present today on this land, strongly implanted in the 21st century, both in Science (and in the present construction of the future radiotelescope SKA, a digital network of sensors, antennas and computer centers, an infrastructure spread over the whole of Africa, which will be a gigantic machine covering the extension of 3,000 kilometres with the purpose of deciphering the universe in 2020) and also in Art in general and in Cinema… and is not Cinema the most complete artistic expression when it comes to visualising human thought? Through Cinema we are able to exercise recursivity, i.e., we are able to fit thoughts into other thoughts; we are able to practice the theory of the mind, i.e., we are able to put ourselves in the place of others; we are able to travel through time… Because of all of this, Our Madness is a film that is proudly African and of African inspiration.