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  • Rizsard Kapuscinsky is one of the most important reporters of the XX Century, and someone who witnessed some of the biggest war crimes in Europe, Latin America and Africa. His books and reportages are ineludible documents to understand all the interests behind war, invasions and geopolitics. It is not surprise that any American viewer say nothing about this animated documentary. It is very probably that American audiences doesn't like at all what Kapuscinski has written, and the way he is portrayed on here. Very far from the way are portayed reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein on the Watergate affair. In that case, there is no ideology. America film and history are made to believe that what both Washington Post reporters it is what investigative journalism is all about. This is, for say the least, an arrogant point of view. America is not the world, nor even the center of the word. Is one pole. The other is Russia, and the former USSR.

    This animated documentary involves both poles from the Cold War, and is not, and cannot be by any means precisely a fruit of objectivity. But, as Kapuscinski put it in many other of his reporter works, and is put it that way on here, his job is to give word to those are condemned to be forgotten, those who usually die amidst oblivion and never are listen, those who are needed and poor, just like Jesus say on his preach, which not means I compared Jesus with Kapuscinski.

    Animation is awesome on this documentary, the way are blended original footage and pictures of many of the depicted characters is just amazing, and shows how American power is capable of the worst atrocities only to support its foreing policy of destruction and empoverity entire countries. The Angola conflict is one of those defeites that American doesn't want to remember, after Vietnam. Of course, it would be naïve to consider that this documentary support openly Russian interventionism, since they abandon too Angola, only to see how Cuba took their place in the conflict and made it to succeed.

    There is no such a thing called neutral interventionism, but Kapuscinski knows that he has to be the voice of those who hasn't and seem condemned to be crashed by any outside political power. "This is the way I look" is a frase repeated several times in the documentary, as if little people raise his voice to be remeber in the future and not fall into oblivion. That's the very point on what Kapuscinski was doing all his life, and for that will be remembered as one of the biggest and more influential reporters of the last century.

    A very impressive documentary, a must see to unveil our prejudices about interventionism.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    (I know this comes across as a political rant rather than a review. But my point is not the politics of the movie, it is the way movies like this are created, the vacuity of their viewpoints. I'd be just as angry if the movie were it's mirror image, centered on "the noble FNLA and their South African allies engaged in an ultimately futile but heroic attempt to liberate Angola".)

    I have some personal interest in this movie insofar as I was growing up in South Africa during the Angolan civil war, and (as a kid, then a teen) heard occasional talk of South African involvement. So I was hoping for something that gave some insight into the war. But that's not what's on offer here. Instead what's on offer is one long apologia for how great the MPLA were, and how awful UNITA and the FNLA were. I certainly have no complaint about the second part, UNITA, and Savimbi, were pretty ghastly. But that does NOT make the MPLA the heroes of this story.

    We hear a constant stream of claims.

    * How 90% of the population supported MPLA (well, WTF knows in 1976, but when elections were finally held in 1992 MPLA received 49.57%, UNITA 40.6%, with the majority of complaints about unfair voting against MPLA. We hear about FNLA child soldiers, but MPLA apparently did the same thing. A Google search for Luis Samacumbi will tell you the story of two kid brothers, one grabbed by MPLA, one by UNITA. (BTW Kapuscinsky's heroine, Carlotta, joined the MPLA when she was 15 so...)

    * While UNITA+FNLA was indeed backed by the US and South Africa, it was also backed by, tada, China...

    * As for civilian deaths or massacres, it's impossible to give even approximate numbers as to which side was responsible for what, all that's agreed upon is that both sides appear to have been pretty much equally enthusiastic about engaging in such activities. What IS clear (even if you're an unrepentant strong leftist) is that on 27 May 1977 there was an MPLA internal reaction against the leadership, followed by the usual arrests, secret courts, and executions (at least 20,000, perhaps as high as 70,000). How did the MPLA do as a government since 1976, both at times when the war was fierce and when it calmed down, and then eventually ended? Well, you know the story. Lots of oil, lots of diamonds, lots of astonishingly poor people. And of course home of the richest woman in Africa who (I'm sure this is just a bizarre coincidence) happens to be the daughter of the ex-president...

    * One final bizarre detail. The movie keeps harping on the fact that Kapuscinsky was supposed to report that the South Africans had invaded, but this was suppressed and "The world denied it". I've no idea what this is talking about because the NYT, on October 24, 1975, a day or two after the South Africans crossed the border, carried on article on precisely this issue.

    It seems that Farrusco's real compaint is not ethical, that "the world" denied South African intervention, but military, that (most of) the world acknowledged the intervention but also (correctly) saw both sides as irredeemably awful, and chose not to intervene. (And note that the same people so concerned that "the world must know about South Africa in Angola" are even more concerned that "we must keep secret the presence of Cuba in Angola"...)

    BTW that hysterical assumption that if the US knew about Cuba they would, what, nuke Angola?, was as ridiculous as the assumption that South Africa was in it to recolonize Angola then the rest of Africa. The CIA was well aware that the Cubans were involved in Angola, as we know from the National Intelligence Daily reports published at the time. It's probably, as a general principle, a silly idea to betray what you claim are your principles on the assumption that the CIA doesn't know something that's clearly obvious to an organization that can track ships and planes, and has spies and satellites...

    I mention all this not because I'm a great fan of UNITA, the FNLA, or the South African Government or the CIA, but because I think the whole slant of the movie is despicable. The slant SHOULD have been that this was a war between two awful, awful sets of human beings, with basically nothing decent on either side. Absolute monsters who chose to keep the war going for 27 years essentially for their own petty purposes. To portray it as the valiant, MPLA, blameless stainless embodiment of the people against the grasping capitalist UNITA intent on nothing but stealing from the country, is pure propaganda. Kapuscinski may have made many friends among the MPLA, but that's not the same thing as the MPLA being on the right side of history -- you can find plenty of memoirs talking of individually decent German soldiers who made friends with the other side in PoW camps or wherever.

    The valorization of this movie (the awards, the rave reviews) show, IMHO, viewers who know nothing about the conflict, but are happy to have all their prejudices confirmed. As far as I can tell, they consider the movie greate because: Yes, this was all the fault of outsiders and every Angolan involved had neither agency nor responsibility; yes the leftists (aka the good guys) won in the end; and yes, the most important thing about these conflicts is not that they are represented in a historically accurate way which might allow us all to learn something, but that they can serve as catharsis and growth for one writer. And if to achieve that requires grotesquely misrepresenting the larger historical truths, well, that's art for you! 500,000 dead but we're meant to interpret the entire conflict through the lens of the death of Carlota, a cross between Angela Davis, Ulrike Meinhof, and Leila Khaled...

    I'm pissed off at all this because the world doesn't need yet another sappy bildungsroman movie centered on the personal story of how some individual faced trauma and grew; we already have approximately ten million movies like that. This COULD have been a movie about how awful war is, especially when is so pointless and led by such awful leaders; it could have been a general investigation of why so many people engaged in so much insanity for so long. But we got nothing original, just a cartoon story of cartoon villains and cartoon heroes. As long as movies like this tell these wars not as stories of pure evil, but as stories of supposedly fine decent people (Carlota, Farrusco, the entire MPLA apparatus) engaged in justifiable violence on the side of good, we're just going to get more wars. You stop war by saying, "No, it was NOT worth it. It was a dumb strategy, pursued selfishly, that destroyed the country for at least two generations." Not by saying that it was all a fine honorable idea.

    If you think I'm being too harsh, do a web search for Artur Domoslawski, who wrote a biography of Kapuscinski that says, among other things, he had an, uh, complicated, relationship with the truth, just as he had an, uh, complicated, relationship with Polish intelligence. (I'm guessing this is the same Artur, somewhat more cynical and realistic about Angola, who appears in the movie, but I'm unable to precisely validate that.)
  • An interesting and gripping animated documentary co-produced by Spain , Germany and Poland , dealing with the Angolan Civil War (Portuguese: Guerra Civil Angolana) , was a civil war in Angola, beginning in 1975 and continuing, with interludes, until 2002. The 27-year war can be divided roughly into three periods of major fighting - from 1975 to 1991, 1992 to 1994 and from 1998 to 2002 - with fragile periods of peace. By the time the MPLA achieved victory in 2002, more than 500,000 people had died and over one million had been internally displaced . The war began immediately after Angola became independent from Portugal in November 1975 . Regarding a three-month-long journey that renowned Polish reporter Ryszard Kapuscinski took across Angola ravaged by a war in which the front lines shifted like a kaleidoscope from one day to the next . On the frontlines , Kapuscinski is working under immense pressure, terror and loneliness a staple of his daily routine. Based on the literary original, the audience will begin their journey with Kapuscinski in 1975 Luanda, the capital of Angola. Involving both poles from the Cold War: Communist bloc and Capitalist faction . Kapuscinski decides to journey to the front lines of the war , traveling through the conflict zone resembles a game of Russian roulette : even uttering the wrong greeting at a checkpoint can get him killed . To tell the true story of Angola , he undergoes a deep change as a human being and he is reborn as a thought-provoking writer . The conflict has a human face - the face of the fierce fighter Carlotta and comendante Farrusco , two of many acquaintances he's made during his journeys to the frontlines . To risk his life in order to be the first journalist in the world to broadcast daily reports on the course of the conflict . An internal conflict is raging within the writer - Kapuscinski is unable and unwilling to be simply a passive , objective observer of the events taking place all around him . ¨Another Day of Life¨ has documentary sequences , lending credibility enough to the world depicted in the animation and giving the spectators a chance to meet the characters 40 years after the events portrayed in the movie , as well as a really additional depth. The picture was well directed Raúl de la Fuente, Damian Nenow who also wrote and based on the book by Kapuscinsky .

    The film is well based on historical events , these are as follows : The country is in the midst of decolonization efforts, launched after the success of the Carnation Revolution. Portuguese nationals are hurriedly fleeing the more glamorous districts of Luanda. The war devastated Angola's infrastructure and severely damaged public administration, the economy and religious institutions.In the final months before the declaration of independence, different factions of the Angolan liberation movement were locked in a protracted struggle that would decide who would hold power in the coming republic. The war was a power struggle between two former anti-colonial guerrilla movements, the communist People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and the anti-communist National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA). The war was used as a surrogate battleground for the Cold War by rival states such as the Soviet Union, Cuba, South Africa and the United States.The MPLA and UNITA had different roots in Angolan society and mutually incompatible leaderships, despite their shared aim of ending colonial rule. A third movement, the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA), having fought the MPLA with UNITA during the war for independence, played almost no role in the Civil War. Additionally, the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC), an association of separatist militant groups, fought for the independence of the province of Cabinda from Angola.The Angolan Civil War was notable due to the combination of Angola's violent internal dynamics and the exceptional degree of foreign military and political involvement. The war is widely considered a Cold War proxy conflict, as the Soviet Union and the United States, with their respective allies, provided assistance to the opposing factions. The conflict became closely intertwined with the Second Congo War in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo and the South African Border War.Angola's three rebel movements had their roots in the anti-colonial movements of the 1950s.The MPLA was primarily an urban based movement in Luanda and its surrounding area.It was largely composed of Mbundu people. By contrast the other two major anti-colonial movements the FNLA and UNITA, were rurally based groups.The FNLA largely consisted of Bakongo people hailing from Northern Angola. UNITA, an offshoot of the FNLA, was mainly composed of Ovimbundu people from the Central highlands

    MPLA : Since its formation in the 1950s, the MPLA's main social base has been among the Ambundu people and the multiracial intelligentsia of cities such as Luanda, Benguela and Huambo.During its anti-colonial struggle of 1962-74, the MPLA was supported by several African countries, as well as by the Soviet Union. Cuba became the MPLA's strongest ally, sending significant contingents of combat and support personnel to Angola. This support, as well as that of several other countries of the Eastern Bloc, was maintained during the Civil War. Communist Yugoslavia provided financial military support for the MPLA, including $14 million in 1977, as well as Yugoslav security personnel in the country and diplomatic training for Angolans in Belgrade. The United States Ambassador to Yugoslavia wrote of the Yugoslav relationship with the MPLA, and remarked, "Tito clearly enjoys his role as patriarch of guerrilla liberation struggle." Agostinho Neto, MPLA's leader during the civil war, declared in 1977 that Yugoslav aid was constant and firm, and described the help as extraordinary. According to a November 1978 special communique, Portuguese troops were among the 20,000 MPLA troops that participated in a major offensive in central and southern Angola

    UNITA's main social basis were the Ovimbundu of central Angola, who constituted about one third of the country's population, but the organization also had roots among several less numerous peoples of eastern Angola. UNITA was founded in 1966 by Jonas Savimbi, who until then had been a prominent leader of the FNLA. During the anti-colonial war, UNITA received some support from the People's Republic of China. With the onset of the civil war, the United States decided to support UNITA and considerably augmented their aid to UNITA in the decades that followed. However, in the latter period, UNITA's main ally was the apartheid regime of South Africa
  • This movie is like two movies in one. Part of it is a documentary about the Angolan Civil War. The other part is an animated film about the same subject, following Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski reporting on the war in the 1970s. The first thing that I need to talk about is the animation. It is animated in that rotoscoped cell-shaded CGI style similar to A Scanner Darkly or the Love, Death & Robots short Fish Night. Normally, I hate animation that is trying to look realistic, but I didn't mind it here. There are many sequences of animation in this movie that just couldn't possibly work as well in live-action. The colours are really nice and it is intense! It actually feels like you're in the middle of a war! The story I found very interesting and the intercut documentary footage of people who actually knew the main character in real life and are characters in the movie themselves was really cool and helped with my understanding of the story and the history behind the film. The acting was really good as well and I really cared about the characters. Overall, if you like animation or historical war movies, you should watch this movie. It's very short, but very good!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The film appaers as documantary, inspirations are good but when I watch this I google a lot of things and most annoying one is where is Angola... Why US is bad and why soviets do not support mpla... I am not getting just why anouncing Cuban support bad thing and after all is it change anything? Movie says yes it changed things but what and why?
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Another Day of Life" is a co-production between no less than 5 European countries from 2018. As a consequence you will also hear all kinds of languages, but English is dominant in dialogs. This movie was directed by Raúl de la Fuente and Damian Nenow and for both it was their first full feature film effort after a nice amount of short film releases. The duo was also in charge of writing here and actually not just these two. Another writer here would be Ryszard Kapuscinski and he wrote the book that the film is based on and we also see him from beginning to end here as this is his story, his journey as a journalist through Angola in days of the Cold War when nothing was really safe there, such as to how much of an extent the country would really be pulled into the Cold War, to what extent the Soviet Union would be involved and not just Cuba and how far South Africa would go in their attempts to push through the goals of the United States of America. Fittingly, there is a brief Kissinger interview seen at the end. Anyway, back to Kapuscinski. He arrives in Angola and keeps travelling further and further south where he meets some interesting people that played a role in war-ridden Angola. Some of them were still alive when the film was made, so you see them back then and in the now as they make brief statements about the situation back then and what connected them with Kapuscinski who died over a decade ago.

    This is an animated movie, not the kind that is for kids and adults alike, but really one only for grown-ups. Very young audiences should not have to watch the violence and they would not really be interested in the story I think. Similar to Waltz with Bashir, an Oscar nominated film from about a decade ago that you probably came across already if you consider watching this one. Sadly, that Israeli movie was far more memorable to me compared to this one. One problem I got here is that the back and forth between animation and live action did not always feel right or even necessary. The scenes when we see a car drive down a road are one thing and at least visually the switch somewhat made sense there is not for any other reason. But when we have very early on, a group of Angolans dancing out of nowhere just for fun, it felt truly pointless. Besides, in terms of the animation only, it took me a while to get used to the looks and especially in the characters and their (sometimes delayed) movements I wasn't sold. The voice acting was okay. The non-people aspects convinced me too visually. There is one pretty beautiful shot at the very end when we have the main character look out of a window. All in all, there were scenes and sequences I enjoyed, especially everything that involved Carlota and her surprising death. There the switch between animation and live action, especially photographs, was done very well. But afterward the film becomes mediocre again sadly. Even for 85 minutes, the scenes I enjoyed in terms of quantity weren't enough for a positive recommendation. Another thing I struggled with was the sound. I don't think it was a problem of the copy of the film or the theater I watched it in, but the film itself. They did not really do themselves a great favor with the music and that as well as the sound effects felt way too loud compared to the spoken parts. It did get annoying quickly and stayed that way mostly until the end. Nonetheless I can see why the film won so many awards and scored even more nimnations, also some prestigious ones, as you don't see animated films about political history too frequently and Angola is also a subject that has not been dealt with a lot in the past. So it was something new and something unique. Shame the execution in detail could not really win me over here. And I am saying this as somebody who is a sucker for animated films. But this one I give a thumbs-down. Not recommended and overall i cannot deny I was glad it was such a rather brief movie.
  • Very good movie on the Angola civil war, a subject not often explored in film but full of possibilities as most wars are. But this is a different kind of movie as it uses animation to tell its story while also taking the Band of Brothers way of storytelling, by having the real people who were involved in it say in their own words what happened. It is mostly animation but with live action images scattered throughout, resulting in a very engaging experience. Technically I found the movie breathtakingly beautiful, using a style of animation that I don't particularly like but making the most out of it, creating some beautiful imagery and a realism that I wasn't expecting. Congratulations to the duo directing the movie, really well done. And now I must delve a bit on the political side of this movie. As a Portuguese this is a story that resonates a lot with us because it was a huge deal in our country, full of changes during that period of time. I must address another reviewer here that didn't like the way it made the MPLA look like saints, and he didn't like the movie because of it, he made a lot of valid points but I don't think this movie is as black and white as he makes it seem, sure it is told through the eyes of MPLA supporters, but there are a lot of clues to show that they were no saints, for example, when they are talking about the brother or comrade way of addressing a soldier, they say it's a coin flip and they both will kill you if you address them in the wrong manner, and by the end, the Artur character is extremely disappointed with the way the war turned out, where all their ideals and principals were never upheld, calling into question the whole war, which again shows that the MPLA were not very different from UNITA. And this brings me to our main character, Ryszard Kapuscinski. He was a very well known Polish journalist and writer and upon some research I found that he was not very consensual, as he often took real stories and romanticized them so much to the point of being total inventions. By adapting one of his works the filmmakers made an excellent decision of using the before mentioned technique of mixing animation, to tell the Kapuscinski story, and real live footage, to act as kind of a fact checker about what is being said. Highly recommended.