Creative Documentary by Inadelso Cossa / 80 mins / in Pre-Production


I return to my grandmother's village to document the war traces and its traumatic effects. It is also the place of my happy childhood memories. I realized later that my country was in the middle of a civil war.


My grandmother turned gunshots into fireworks. Maria witnessed the war at its height and how it took everything she loved. She lives in loneliness, and the radio is her only company. Maria has Alzheimer's, but at night her memories are clearer. She tells me how a landmine killed my grandfather. She still sets the table for him. In a voice-over, I will juxtapose archive footage of the civil war with my false childhood memories. But where is the truth buried today? My sound engineer, Moises, and I are looking for traces in the village. Moises is trying to find the sound of war. In lonely moments I share my thoughts with him. My memory is fragile, and it seems like a ghost is haunting the village.


In the night, we find Macuacua, lying drunk on the ground and yelling. He's a former rebel, and since his first murders, he dances with the dead. Alcohol numbs his senses, but not his ghosts. He is married to Zalina. She brought him to the village; their marriage is marked by violence and alcohol. Her daughter Maria also lives in a toxic marriage. She is my age, and for her, the civil war was no illusion. She had to watch her grandfather being brutally murdered. A family that, like mine, lost its grandfather, but its burden is heavy. The demons of war haunt Mary. Maybe my grandmother tried to protect me from precisely these demons.


We watch our protagonists in their daily activities during the day: My grandmother cooks and guards my grandfather's grave, Macuacua, and Zalina cultivate the field. At night the ghosts wake up, bees that traditionally protect the spirits announce them. The film goes on a sensory search and uncovers the trauma of the families bit by bit. The guild is tangible; the silence between my grandmother and me, and the denial of Zalina and Macuacua becomes unbearable. The film climaxes with a bonfire, where everyone gathers, but nobody speaks. Moses, the sound recordist, is missing, as he turned mad listening to the war ghosts. The fire goes out, and reconciliation is far away, but a healing process may begin.

Supported by IDFA Bertha Fund, , CNAP, ICA, HotDocs Blue Ice & Atlas Workshops IFF Marrakech