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90 min. Xitswa, Swahili.

The voiceover says at the outset that a madhouse can be different things at different times: slavery, civil war, a puppet regime. Today, it’s a psychiatric hospital in Maputo, bright walls without, dark corridors within, both accentuated by the crisp black and white. Ernania is a patient there, she coaxes music from her bed so enchanting it could carry you away. When the gate is left open one day, she seizes her chance and a journey begins. But the path doesn’t proceed from A to B, but rather from one beguiling location to another, each flowing into the next with logic of a trance: a recording studio, a cinema full of goats, a boat on a tilt on the mudflats. Ernania was always looking for her husband and son and finds them with ease, but somehow they disappear again at will, just like the other strange objects she stumbles across, the aeroplane fashioned from a hospital bed or the statue of wire. When Ernania and her son stare at the sun, they see the whole continent before them, a terrain, like the film, as rich in references and allusions as a dream. The voiceover also says escape lies in dreams, but that was in the past. Today, it’s in your dreams that they sense you’re there. (James Lattimer)

João Viana was born in Huambo, Angola in 1966. After studying Law at the University of Coimbra in Portugal, he studied film in Porto from 1988 to 1994. Since then, he has worked as a director, screenwriter, producer, and sound technician. Following A batalha de Tabatô (Forum 2013), Our Madness is his second full-length film.

What interests me and what doesn’t

I am not interested in turning cinema into a psychologist’s couch. Nor am I interested in making militant cinema. What is indeed important for OUR MADNESS is to summon the four forces that I perceived in the field. Summon Order to get to Madness and summon God to get to the Devil.
Let me explain: what interests me is working with the reality and the presence of history in the social and political situation of Mozambique today. What interests me is summoning the Order established by the present regime and linking it with the liberating Madness of artistic creation. What interests me is to tell the whole truth by way of fiction. What interests me is to speak of the Devil and of the Mozambican God. (João Viana)

Production François D’Artemare, João Viana, Sol Carvalho, Carlos Vaz. Production companies Les Films de L’Après-Midi (Paris, France), Papaveronoir (Lisbon, Portugal), Promarte (Maputo, Mozambique), Telecine Bissau (Bissau, Guinea-Bissau). Written and directed by João Viana. Director of photography Sabine Lancelin. Editing Edgar Feldman. Music Pedro Carneiro. Sound design Mario Dias. Sound Gabriel Mondlane. Production design Marieta Mandjate. With Ernania Rainha (Lucy), Bernardo Guiamba (Pack), Hanic Corio (Boy), Rosa Mario (Priest), Emerson Sanjane (Nurse 1), Francisco Muxanga (Bad Guy), Mamadu Baio (International Star), Janete Mutemba (Mad Girl 1), Jessica Laimo (Mad Girl 2), Francisco Manjate (Nurse 2).


2004: A Piscina / The Swimming Pool (15 min., co-directed by Iana Viana). 2009: Alfama (15 min.). 2013: A batalha de Tabatô / The Battle of Tabatô (80 min., Forum 2013), Tabatô (13 min., Berlinale Shorts). 2018: Our Madness, Madness (Berlinale Shorts).

Photo: © Sabine Lancelin

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur