“When my aunt emigrated to Guinea-Bissau to marry Vincente, I was a child. Ever since, this little country has been part of my family. Those of us left behind ate rice with our hands out of a bowl and listened to political music by José Carlos Schwartz. Proud of our faraway relatives,we decorated our house with arts and crafts from Bissau. We hungrily consumed any information that reached us from there and yet we remained excluded. As a child, the chain of lights that I could see from my bedroom window on the horizon at night was a constant and literal reminder of the Iron Curtain. They were the lights of the border fortifications to West Germany."
Thirty-five years later, the film-maker Kolja Kunt goes in search of the past in West Africa. She, too, falls in love. But it is a myth that history repeats itself; reality is always different.The Wall has fallen, and the high boundary fences have been erected in distant lands; the world is interconnected and the stationery shop no longer stocks airmail paper. Only when the flag is hoisted in the centre of Bissau does everything come to a standstill, as stipulated by the protocol of the Portuguese occupying power.
September 30, 2017, Box