I racconti della Lixeira
Federico Schiavi, Felipa Jardim Reis
HD - colour
festivals & awards:
As in many other developing countries, the municipal dump supplies a livelihood to the poorest of the poor. In Hulene, a suburb of the Mozambique capital of Maputo, the Lixeira, the dump, is refuge and home to more than 700 families. Day by day, men, women and children dig their way through the stinking piles of garbage in search of everything that can be re-used and sold in any way. It’s not exactly a situation one associates with dignity or human creativity, but still: this place, where things die, is also the beginning of another life which looks for ways to express joy and desire even under extreme conditions. The appropriate medium here is hip hop dancing, brought to Lixeira by Suares and his friends. Suares is a passionate dancer who underlines his performances with a whole range of mime, sometimes a warrior, sometimes a robot. At the same time, he is a strict teacher who demands discipline and commitment from the children of the Lixeira Dance Group. The film follows Suares and his friends on their daily routines and takes the audience into a microcosm which, like life outside, is marked by profound friendship, envy, passion and sudden fights. These observations are filmed with love and enhanced by short animated sequences that narrate events around the dump in an absurd, very individual, almost surreal style. For example the story of the talking blanket or of the sorcerer who finds a safe hiding place in the waste of the city. It is at this point, if not before, that we realise that “Maputo Dancing Dump” does not look for compassion in the Western audience. Rather, it tells of the force of life at a place that’s home to these children and young people.