Saturday 21 November 2015, Room B04, School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London, London WC1H 0PD


  • 2.15pm – Warriors (Quem vai à guerra, Marta Pessoa, Portugal, 2011, 130mins)

Forty years after its abrupt conclusion, Portugal’s colonial war is still a sensitive and opaque topic, with narratives built mostly around male protagonist, as if only the men had been veterans of war and only they became its victims. A country at war: could anyone not be affected by it? The unexpected stories this documentary has pieced together, along with the charismatic personalities of its storytellers, trigger in us the desire to know more about the history of the colonial war and about the role of women in it. Warriors is told by those who were left behind to wait, those who surprisingly chose to stay on the war front with their husbands and those who ran onward to rescue the soldiers from the front lines. This film is an unveiling of women´s role in colonial history while, at the same time, a rare insight by a woman filmmaker on the topic of war.

  • 4.30-5.30pm – Roundtable and Q&A: On the invisibility of women in film and history

A must-see debate where Al jazeera filmmaker Ana Noemi de Sousa and film historian Maria do Carmo Piçarra will be joined by Warriors’ director Marta Pessoa to discuss ‘the invisibility of women in film and in the histories of colonialism and war’. The debate will open up to questions from the audience after the round table.

Please click here to watch a video of this roundtable.

Both events are free

Panelists’ biographies

Marta Pessoa was born in Lisbon in 1974. Has a degree in Cinema Studies (areas of Cinematography and Directing) by the ESTC – Polythecnic of Lisbon and a Masters in Communication Sciences by the FCSH – New University of Lisbon. Has worked as Director of Photography on numerous documentaries and fiction films since 1996. Among other films, directed the shorts Fair Day (2004), Someone Will Watch Over You (2005), Manual Of The Domestic Feeling (2007), Black Mold (2015) and the documentaries Lisbon’s Under Arrest (2009), Warriors (2011) and The Lurking Fear (2015). In 2013, along with Rita Palma and João Pinto Nogueira she founded the production company Três Vinténs.

Maria do Carmo Piçarra is a film historian and post-doctoral researcher on the topic of ‘Portugal, France and England: Empire Representations in Film’ at University of Minho, Portugal, and University of Reading, England. Amongst other publications, she is the author of Salazar vai ao cinema (Salazar goes to the movies) and of a trilogy on Angolan cinema. She is a journalist, film critic and film programmer, and the co-editor of Aniki, the journal of the Portuguese Association of film Researchers  (AIM).

Ana Naomi de Sousa is an independent documentary filmmaker born and raised in London. She studied modern languages at Bristol University, and went on to work as a translator, living in Portugal, Cape Verde, Brazil and Angola. In 2010 she joined the international TV network, Al Jazeera English, where she worked across a variety of current affairs and documentary programmes. She is the director of the documentaries Angola: Birth of a Movement (2012); Guerrilla Architect (2013); The Architecture of Violence (2014) and Hacking Madrid (2015).

Further information on all films

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Download programme here.

The festival is funded by Instituto Camões, sponsored by TAP Portugal and kindly supported by the Portuguese Embassy in London