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The Nights still smell of Gunpowder

It is dark and stays dark. Through the medium of nightmares, sounds, absent images and a child’s black-and-white photo in dry foliage, the film – slowly and in fragments – explores the memory of the civil war in Mozambique, which lasted from 1977 to 1992. Archival material is carefully deployed. The fighters for independence (FRELIMO) and the rebels of the National Resistance (RENAMO) fought each other, and countless landmines claimed their victims. Filmmaker Inadelso Cossa, still a carefree child at the time, now visits his grandmother’s village. Victims, perpetrators, former rebel fighters and surviving civilians live here. Cossa asks the sound recordist Moises, who hears voices from the graves at dusk: “Do you want to talk about it?” The filmmaker’s grandmother is suffering from the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s and can only remember at night. A former rebel numbs himself with alcohol and continues the battles in his soul. The echoes of horror are omnipresent. Against the backdrop of Mozambique’s now taboo civil war history, As noites ainda cheiram á pôlvora develops a sensory approach to ghosts, to missing and fictitious memories.

Selected for Forum at Berlinale 2024.