Above: cinematographer Sandro Mancori in Angola in 1973
during the shooting of Africa Nera Africa Rossa (source)
Africa Nera Africa Rossa is a 1978 Italian RAI TV documentary film in three episodes directed by Italian screenwriter, critic, producer and film director Carlo Lizzani, born 1922, a prolific author of dramas, crime films and erotic comedies – Lizzani wrote the story of Giuseppe De Santis’ Bitter Rice, 1950, for instance. Africa Nera Africa Rossa was shot in Angola in 1973 with cinematographer Sandro Mancori (pictured above). According to the LP’s liner notes, the film is about:
The trial of four mercenaries who had fought against the troops of Agostino Neto, leader of the Liberation Movement of Angola. The film shows a lot of humanity in its description of a country’s social transformation and modernization. The accompanying music is taken from the Afro-Cuban tradition which is the source of Angolan music.
From 1956, Agostinho Neto (1922-79) was the leader of Communist party Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA). In 1960, when Neto was arrested by the Portuguese authorities who ruled the country, his supporters marched for his release, but Portuguese soldiers shot at them, killing 30 and wounding 200 in what became known as the Massacre of Icolo e Bengo (source). After the 1974 Carnation Revolution in Portugal, the battle was fierce between the three Angolan parties: Jonas Sawimbi’s UNITA, Holden Roberto’s FNLA and the MPLA. With help from USSR ammunitions and 30,000 Cuban soldiers sent by Fidel Castro, the MPLA eventually won the first elections and Neto became president in 1975. I assume the film is about the decolonization process and implementation of Marxism in Angola.
♫ The soundtrack was composed by Sergio Montori & Gian Paolo Chiti and issued on a Cometa Edizioni Musicali LP in 1980. One should forget about the “Afro-Cuban tradition” alluded to in the liner notes – the music here is as weird and out of this world as can be. No doubt Sun Ra would approve the snake charming flutes, pseudo ethnic bongo solos and electronic loops. Great calypso guitar playing on #09 and cosmic VCS 3 on #10. Excellent music throughout, just don’t expect genuine ethnic music. Note: this LP is not from personal collection. The mp3s were found on a search engine and the pictures come from an eBay seller. See also: Quadri Antichi.
01 Foresta Verde (1:42)
02 Insidie Nascoste (2:23)
03 Piccolo Flauto (2:44)
04 Savana (1:49)
05 In Cammino (2:07)
06 Richiami (2:14)
07 Guerriglia (2:18)
08 Festa Bantù (3:18)
09 Allegria! (2:08)
10 Alt Pericolo (1:36)
11 Il Processo (1:51)
12 Haua (2:13)
13 Sentenza (2:04)
14 Tramonti (2:15)
Total time 30:20
LP released by Cometa Edizioni Musicali LP, Italy, 1980
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Below: some Lizzani film posters: