Po di sangui

PO DI SANGUI, 1996 © trigon-film

PO DI SANGUI (Tree of Blood), Flora Gomes, Guinea-Bissau 1996, 35mm, OV/GeS, 90 min
In attendance of the director
Sep 6, 2021 18:45 Arsenal Cinema

Informed by the oral tradition of African storytelling, PO DI SANGUI is set in the forest village of Amanha Lundju, a place where the birth of children is celebrated by the planting of a tree. The trees are considered spiritual twins, but for every tree planted the rapacious state destroys many more for firewood and lumber. The tale begins as the wanderer Dou returns to the village. He discovers that Hami, his twin brother, has just died for no apparent reason. Following tradition, Dou takes on his late brother’s wife and children. Everywhere he goes in the village, he is mistaken for Hami, even by his own mother. Confused, Dou visits his brother’s tree, asking for counsel. Although the film is some decades old its message is still timely, speaking to the violence of ecocide and the ongoing deforestation of Guinea-Bissau’s natural resources, as well as the conflicts between a destructive modernity and traditions that carry environmental protection in their very essence.