Song of Ossobó Film

Silas Tiny | São Tomé, Portugal and Príncipe 2018 | 1h23m | Portuguese with English subtitles | Documentary | 15


After living in Portugal for a number of years director Silas Tiny moves back to Sao Tomé, a small archipelago off the equatorial coast of west Africa. We move through the small country, past and present, as he rediscovers his birthplace and ancestral home to reconnect and explore his heritage. The film wistfully brings together archival clips, personal family videos and documentary footage as we explore how the remnants of the slave trade still fuse with the contemporary architectural landscape. Sao Tomé was originally unpopulated but grew as a colony during the Transatlantic Slave Trade, while also serving as the main cocoa and coffee producer through plantations. Populated over the centuries by slaves and labourers from other Portuguese African colonies - Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde - San Tomeans inherited poverty and alienation, finding belonging in the legends of their ancestors. Song of Ossobó, the lamentation chant of the unrooted bird, is one of them. The director’s poetic narrative echoes its calls as he reflects on his home, personal history and belonging.

Past Showings

Edinburgh / Tue 30 Oct 2018 / 7pm
Free and non-ticketed / St John’s Church