– Sala 03
Beyond My Steps
Director: Kamy Lara
Co-Director & Producer: Paula Agostinho
Angola, 2019, 72’
Best Documentary Competition
Extra Screening June 5 at 14h
During the montage of the 2017 season show of the Contemporary Dance Company of Angola choreographed by Mónica Anapaz, five dancers explore the concepts of tradition, culture, memory, and identity, questioning the transformation and deconstruction of these themes in their own lives. Most of them — coming from other provinces of the country — bring memories and traditions with them when moving to the bustling, the erratic and frantic reality of the capital. For the sake of integration, there is a need for the partial abdication of who we are and the need to create a new identity, reflecting on what remains original in us along the different paths of life we trace.
In October 2016, the show “Ceci N’est Pas Une Porte” of the Contemporary Dance Company of Angola premiered, in a small auditorium in the city center of Luanda. At that time, we were experiencing a tense political climate. Activists had been arrested and convicted. The country appeared to be in a pressure cooker ready to explode at any moment.
On stage, the dancers danced confined to small, dimly lit boxes, struggling to express themselves within a tight and suffocating space. It was at the end of that show that the idea for this documentary was implanted in my head. What path did these dancers take until they reached the stage? How could I, through cinema, continue the debate that started on stage?
That was how, at the beginning of 2017, I set out to accompany the construction of the CDCA show for that season, from the idea's emergence to its transformation into dance and choreography movements.
"Para Lá dos Meus Passos" uses the show as a starting point to accompany the dancers' reflection on the themes explored throughout the play: their origins, their traditions, the loss of identity and the construction of a new one, imposed by time and the change from a rural area to an urban Luanda. A similar story for so many Angolans and Angolans.
This path of adaptation presupposes the inevitable change in your dreams, values and expectations. Not only as citizens, but also as artists. The vision of Luanda as a great stage for his art clashes with the realisation that the recognition of culture and dance does not depend only on its resilience, discipline or ability to balance in the chaos of this new urban and capitalist reality.
As an Angolan director trying to make films in Angola, it is impossible not to identify myself with the anguish, dreams and transformations that I have been trying to know in the dancers. Through this film, I add my voice to theirs, that of the Company and the citizens of the world who are afraid to forget who they are, where they come from and who reflect on what they may have already lost along the way.