The Sound of Masks


TIFF Bell Lightbox 4 Wed, May 1, 2019 8:30 PM
Scotiabank Theatre 13 Fri, May 3, 2019 3:30 PM
TIFF Bell Lightbox 4 Sun, May 5, 2019 2:30 PM
Film Info
Country Listing:South Africa
Premiere Status:North American Premiere
Festival Info
Festival Year:2019
Accessibility:Full Subtitles
Program Category:Artscapes
Film Subjects:Africa
Indigenous Cultures & Issues
Performers & Performance
War, Conflict & the Military
Cast/Crew Info
Director(s):Sara CF de Gouveia
Producer(s):Sara CF de Gouveia
Pablo Iraola
Pandora da Cunha Telles
Julia Ramsay
Editor(s):Khalid Shamis
Writer(s):Sara CF de Gouveia
Khalid Shamis
Cinematography:Sara CF de Gouveia
Composer:Tiago Correia-Paulo
Sound:Pedro Góis


Atanásio Nyusi carries the anti-colonial history of Mozambique in the movements of his body. To watch the legendary Nyusi dance Mapiko even makes the elders take pause. This politically rebellious masked art form, indigenous to the Makonde people, stopped during the country's 10-year-long War of Independence against the Portuguese. Now, after decades of displacement, it is revived as a celebration of freedom for the millions of people who have returned. As they fight to rebuild their families and remember the ancestral rhythms of their land, Nyusi seeks to restore and reinvigorate the collective memory by preserving this embodied archive through teaching and performance. But when he is gone, who will become the next generation's guardian of history? Where each movement reveals a story and every story holds a lesson, The Sound of Masks travels through time and space to connect past to present and the future to now. Nataleah Hunter-Young

Co-presented with The Dance Current

Included Shorts

Life in the City of Dirty Water (20min) More

Additional Information

  • In the Seats - 4 Stars
  • POV - "Wicked cool arts doc about the power of dance."