Magazine article Screen International

'Another Day of Life': Cannes Review

Magazine article Screen International

'Another Day of Life': Cannes Review

Article excerpt

Animation/live-action hybrid look at Angola’s 1975 fight for independence

Another Day Of Life

Dirs Raúl de la Fuente, Damian Nenow. Pol-Sp-Ger-Bel-Hun. 2018. 80 mins

The late Ryszard Kapuscinski’s memoir of his role in Angola’s 1975 fight for independence is brought to the screen as an unusual docudrama hybrid matching live-action and animation. The mixture is disconcerting at first, but gradually allows his front line testimony to emerge in a way that matches documentary authenticity with dramatic intensity.

It is when the film steps back into live-action that it starts to command your attention

The possibility of an “Under Fire meets Waltzing With Bashir” pitch should attract festival offers and audiences seeking fresh perspectives on living memory historical events.

The film provides a compact introduction to the events in 1975 leading to the date set for Angola’s independence on November 11th. The end of Portuguese colonial rule held out the possibility for lasting change whilst the country’s rich natural resources made it an inevitable prize for outside forces. As Vietnam ends, the Cold War moves on and both Soviet Russia and America pick their sides in what would become a civil war between competing liberation movements MPLA and UNITA. For ace Polish reporter Ryszard Kapuscinski it was the one place he had to be.

When Another Day Of Life slips into animation it immediately jars. Kapuscinski is depicted as the kind of reckless, square-jawed foreign reporter you might expect to find in a Sam Fuller B-movie, spouting platitudes, challenging authority and complete with suitably macho stubble. He feels a bit of a cliche. The slightly florid, simplistic screenplay and a bland vocal cast working in English only add to the unease. …

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