neon production neon production
LE DERNIER VOL DU FLAMANT
neon production

<img src="/familles_photos/le-dernier-vol-du-flamant-rose_1.jpg" />

Ecrit et réalisé par
Joao Ribeiro
Coécrit avec
Gonçalo Galvão Teles

En co-production avec
Fado Filmes (Portugal)
Potenza Producciones (Espagne)
Video Filmes (Brésil)
Tim / Slate one (Mozambique)
Carlo d'Ursi Produzioni (Italie)

Distribution
Portugal, Angola et Mozambique : Zon-Lusomundo
Espagne: Barton Films
France: Neon Productions

Ventes internationales
insomnia sales

Tizangara, petit village de l’intérieur du Mozambique, premières années de l’après-guerre civile. Cinq explosions. Cinq morts, des soldats des Nations Unies dont on ne retrouve que les organes génitaux et le caractéristique casque bleu des soldats de la paix.
« Pour connaître la vérité, n’interrogez pas les gens, interrogez la vie ». C’est ce qu’affirment les villageois à l’enquêteur étranger envoyé par les Nations Unies pour élucider ce mystère.


LISTE ARTISTIQUE

Carlo d'URSI
Maximo
Eliot ALEX
Joaquim
Alberto MAGASSELA
Estevao Jonas
Mario BABJALA
Zeca Andorinho
Adriana ALVES
Ana Deusqueira

LISTE TECHNIQUE

Réalisateur
Joao RIBEIRO
Assistant réalisateur
Nuno MILAGRE
Directeur de production
Pedro BENTO
Chef opérateur
José Antonio LOUREIRO
Assistant caméra
Eberhard SCHEDL
Ingénieur du son
Vasco PEDROSO
Monteur
Orlando MESQUITA
Chef déco
Joao MARTINS
Sélection au Festival de Pusan 2010 - Corée du Sud
Fespaco 2011
Cannes - 2010 pavillon "Les cinémas du monde"
Festival International du Film Panafricain Cannes 2010
Festival les Films du Monde Montréal 2010
Festival de Tarifa
FIFAI
Festival International du Film d'Angola
Afrika Film Festival de Leuven en Belgique 2011
Festival du Cinéma Africain de Khouribga
Cine-club Afrique saison 7 - 2011 - (France)
Festival International du Film de Nairobi (Kenya)
Festival International de Göteborg 2011
Festival International Douro Jazz (Portugal)
AFRIFF 2010 de Port Harcourt (Nigeria)
22ème FESPACO 2011 (Burkina Faso)
Texas Black Film Festival (Etats-Unis)
27° FESTROIA (Portugal)
Festival du Film Européen du Mozambique
Festival du Film Africain de Porto (MOVICA III)
Festival du cinéma africain d'Edinburgh
Nominé au Goya du Meilleur Film Européen.
Nominé pour le Meilleur Film à l'Académie du Cinéma Brésilien.
Festival du Film Panafricain de Los Angeles USA
Ciné-Africa 2012 (France)
14ème semaine du Cinéma Lusophone de Nice (France)
Rencontres des cinémas d'Afrique du cinéma Le France
Cucle cinéma au cinéma Le Méliès de Pau
Festival de Louxor pour le film africain (Egypte)
Festival du Film Africain de Cologne (Allemagne)
Festival du film tri continental de Johannesbourg (Afrique du Sud)
SESC SP 2012, Sao Paulo (Brésil)
Festival "Romans et cinéma" d'Ardèche
Sélection au 8ème Festival Cinémas d'Afrique - Lausanne (Suisse)
II Festival de Cinema de Lingua Portuguesa, Ottawa (Canada)


Prix: Meilleur long métrage au festival international du film d'Angola
Prix du Jury au Festival International de Cinéma du Cap-vert (Cap-Vert)

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CinemAfrica 1: Viva Riva! and The Last Flight of the Flamingo
 
Wednesday, April 13th, 2011 Posted by Daniel Lindvall, Film International’s editor-in-chief.

CinemaAfrica is Stockholm’s annual African film festival. The 12th edition, 23-28 March 2011, screened 43 films from 16 countries, not counting a block of 15 animated short films. The programme included films by directors well known to international art house audiences, such as Chadian Mahamat Saleh Haroun (A Screaming Man) and Franco-Algerian Rachid Bouchareb (Outside the Law), as well as popular genre films and documentaries. This is the first of a handful of planned review articles about films presented at this year’s CinemAfrica festival.

‘African cinema’ is a vast concept. What do the film cultures of Egypt, South Africa and
Nigeria’s Nollywood industry have in common? To what extent are there particularly
African themes or African aesthetics? Should there be? Such questions have been asked for as long as films have been made in Africa and I make no pretence about answering them. Still, the questions unavoidably pose themselves when I watch, first, the Congolese action movie Viva Riva! and then, in quick succession, the Mozambican magic realist drama,
The Last Flight of the Flamingo. On the surface the two films couldn’t be more opposed. Viva Riva! (directed by Djo Tunda wa Munga) is a fast-paced gangster movie, reminiscent of a high-end American Blaxploitation film. Lethal violence, guns, torture, casual sex and prostitution occur in almost everyscene. Inter-African racism, misogyny
and near-total corruption characterise the life of the 10 million-plus megacity of Kinshasa, where the film is set. It is beautifully shot in high definition, with lush colour scales of green, red, gold and earth tones, as the camera moves smoothly through the busy nightlife, the crowded daytime streets or the luxurious home of a flashy gangster boss. Editing also is smooth and rhythmical. Acting is naturalistic, with just the right amount of tongue-in-cheek. It conforms in almost every way to the accepted standards of the ‘well-made’ Hollywood genre movie, which is perhaps why it picked up all the most prestigious prizes – Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design – at the 7th African Movie Academy Awards, the continent’s equivalent of the Oscars. But if Viva Riva! was Africa’s choice for best movie of 2010, it divided the audience in Stockholm, according to festival director Sandra Olivegren. Whilst young viewers, new to African cinema and expecting a ‘difficult’, culturally remote experience, were pleasantly surprised by the thrills and cultural accessibility of the film, some veterans of the festival questioned whether this was the kind of film the festival ought to present, objecting to the amount of sex and violence.

The latter audience members would no doubt have felt more at ease with The Last Flight of the Flamingo, a film based on a novel by the white Mozambican author Mia Couto and
directed by João Ribeiro. Where Viva Riva! is urban, cynical and, rather superficially, ultramaterialist,
Last Flight is set in the countryside and offers redemption through love and
magic. Where women in Viva Riva! are little more than victims, whether as wives,
girlfriends or prostitutes, two strong female characters are at the centre of Last Flight. If the story in Viva Riva! is a rather basic crime story, Last Flight deals explicitly with political issues concerning the legacy of colonialism. And where Viva Riva! rushes ahead at full speed, ending in an orgy of killings, Last Flight moves along at a slower, quirkier pace. Yet, scratch the surface and the two films are perhaps not as absolutely opposite as one might immediately believe. Both deal with violent crime. In Viva Riva! the main character, the title’s Riva, returns from Angola to his hometown Kinshasa with a
truckload of (probably) smuggled and (probably) stolen petrol, a commodity much coveted as there is a severe shortage of the stuff locally. At his heels are his double-crossed former Angolan partners and, soon, also a local crime boss.
In Last Flight an Italian UN officer, Massimo, is sent to the small town of Tizangara to investigate the death of five UN soldiers who have blown up mysteriously, with only their genital organs and their blue helmets to be found at the scenes of crime.
Both films contain several sex scenes and sexuality is presented as a strong driving force. In fact, it is in Last Flight that naked female bodies are most often exposed to the camera and the audience. In Viva Riva! nudity is generally covered up by the choice of camera angles. The women in Viva Riva! are continuously offered to men, shown off to men, used by men, but they are rarely shown off to the audience. The mistaken impression that women are objectified, shown off, also by the camera in Viva Riva! is probably a result of the uniformly misogynistic attitudes of the men in the film and the way the director/the film apparently indulges this behaviour.
In both films corruption is widespread in all social institutions. In Viva Riva! the police, the army, even the church is on the take. In Last Flight, the local authorities, the church and the UN representatives are happy to accept a suitable cover-up story.
Last Flight also displays the same lush – I’m tempted to say ‘African’ – scheme of warm
colours as does Viva Riva!.

And, finally and most strikingly, the two films end in rather similar ways, with the worlds we have got to know apparently auto-destructing, leaving, in Viva Riva!
only a young boy, a street vendor and errand boy for Riva, alive, and in Last
Flight only Massimo and his local assistant, the son of a ‘witch doctor’. Of course, this auto-destruction comes about very differently. In Viva Riva! the
gangsters finish each other off, with the dying killing their killers before drawing
their final breath. In Last Flight the entire country of Mozambique magically disappears, with Massimo and his friend left on a cliff seemingly floating in the air.

But, then again, these endings also differ in an important aspect. In Viva Riva! we are left
with no reason for hope whatsoever. As the errand boy gets in behind the wheel of the
gangsters’ SUV and finds a bunch of dollars, it doesn’t feel like a fresh start, only the
beginning of a repetition of the life of Riva. In a world where we have been presented with not a single sympathetic character there is no reason to imagine anything else. In Last Flight the ‘forces of good’ – love, magic and benign tradition, here opposed to neo-colonial, oppressive political modernity – have already prevailed before this final act and we are more or less promised that life will again return when the flamingo, according to a local legend, brings back the sun. A magic rebirth is on its way.
So, there we are, with two films that might be said to represent opposing ends of the
spectrum of African cinema. Yet, also two films that have more in common than initially
meet the eye. I wouldn’t pretend that they sum up African film, but perhaps together they say something about the disparity and unity of the continent’s cinema, or at least, about the fascinating breadth of CinemAfrica.

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The Independent : A Week in Books: 2005's Independent Foreign Fiction Prize longlist
 
By Boyd Tonkin
Friday, 28 January 2005

The voices from former Portuguese colonies in Africa, Angola and Mozambique draw on a common heritage: the language of Portugal. But today's Lusophone African writers share a number of characteristics besides language. Many, for instance, have been instrumental in championing the plight of the marginalised masses. And besides having continually to skirt around constant surveillance by the authorities, writers in Lusophone Africa have had to confront the themes of the damaging effects of war, famine and economic mismanagement. The infrastructure for the printing and book publishing industries in Africa is, meanwhile, virtually non-existent.

However, some Lusophone African writers, in particular Mia Couto and Pepetela, have been able to build on support and encouragement from publishing houses in Portugal to create the beginnings of a global reputation. Other writers from Portuguese Africa, such as the Angolan Sousa Jamba (author of the acclaimed novels Patriots and A Lonely Devil), have found success by writing in English.

Couto, born in Mozambique in 1955, is considered the most prominent of the younger generation of writers in Portuguese-speaking Africa. In his novels and short stories, translated into various languages, Couto passionately and sensitively describes everyday life in poverty-stricken Mozambique. In O Ultimo Voo Do Flamingo (The Last Flight of the Flamingo), his latest novel, published by Caminho last month, Couto delivers yet another piece of ingenious literature - gripping and mysterious, yet never without humour. Couto's other books in translation include Voices Made Night, Every Man is a Race and Under the Frangipani Tree (out in English next year).

Talent comes aplenty in Mozambique, and these days it comes young, too. Born in Maputo in 1967, Nelson Saute is considered a rising star. Picked up by Lisbon-based publishers Dom Quixote on the strength of his book of short stories O Apostolo da Desgraca (The Apostle of Misfortune), he has just completed his first novel.

Pepetela, born in Angola in 1941, is the second author alongside Couto whom anyone interested in Lusophone African literature cannot ignore. His new book, scheduled for publication in Portugal later this year, describes the Lupi - "some strange creatures in the mountains". The Lupi are vegetarians who lead a calm life discovering nature. One day a purple pleasant-smelling liquid bubbles from a source in the ground. Little by little, the wise men discover its diverse capacities. Everything changes for the Lupi. Will they be able to resist? This is a real African fable with genuine modern application.

Another talented writer in the Portuguese African diaspora is Emmanuel Rui, born in Huambo in Angola. A novelist, songwriter, poet and columnist, Rui is renowned for his uncompromising stance. His forthcoming title Noticias do Huambo (News from Huambo) is due for publication in 2001. Rui's heroes are very often children and women fighting for survival.

One of the liveliest publishers of work from Lusophone Africa is the Porto-based Campo das Letras. Last year Campo published Arnaldo Santos's first novel A Casa Velha das Margens (The Old House on the Bank), the story of an Angolan immigrant's lonely studies in Lisbon during the 19th century and of the alienation he experiences on his return to Angola. This story, and the publisher's efforts to bring it to a wider audience, make for a resonant example of the richness and difficulty of the cultural heritage shared by Portugal and its former

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The Last Flight of the Flamingo': You Must Dismember This
 
Citation : Article Tools Sponsored By
By ROB NIXON
Published: July 17, 2005

The masterly Mozambican fabulist Mia Couto opens his latest novel with a mysterious dismemberment: ''To put it crudely and rudely, here's what happened: a severed penis was found right there on the trunk road just outside Tizangara. A large organ on the loose. The locals stood thunderstruck at their discovery.''
Skip to next paragraph
THE LAST FLIGHT OF THE FLAMINGO
By Mia Couto. Translated by David Brookshaw.
179 pp. Serpent's Tail. Paper, $15.
Readers
Forum: Book News and Reviews

This isn't any old severed penis: it belongs to a delegation of penises formerly attached to United Nations peacekeepers who have begun to explode, inexplicably and bloodlessly, leaving behind nothing but their phalluses and blue helmets. And so the sleuthing begins in Tizangara, a Mozambican town that has emerged bewildered from a 15-year civil war and where ''the only facts are supernatural ones.''

That fact escapes Massimo Risi, the Italian United Nations officer dispatched to Tizangara to piece together (as it were) the mystery of the amputated organs. Risi's rather literal ideas about cause and effect prove ill fitted to a land where the dead wield more influence than the living and where empiricism is immaterial. Risi's career hangs in the balance, but his hopes of delivering a definitive report are shaken from his opening exchange with an innkeeper whose establishment lacks running water:

''No water?''

''Don't worry, my dear sir: first thing in the morning, we'll bring you a can of water.''

''And where does this water come from?''

''The water doesn't come from anywhere: it's a boy who brings it.''

Couto takes a darkly ludic pleasure in cultural mistranslations -- and not just between native Tizangarans and visiting Europeans. ''The Last Flight of the Flamingo'' takes shape as a wry, poignant fable about any society lost in translation, any society sent through the ideological wringer by colonists, Marxist-Leninists, counterrevolutionaries, NGO's, globalizing capitalists and authoritarian kleptocrats. As the novel's narrator observes of his people's mangled identity, ''We hadn't understood the war, and now we didn't understand the peace.''

The narrator, the translator of Tizangara, doubles as Risi's escort and our guide through the hazy borderlands between the living and the dead. A man impossible to surprise, he indulges his father's habit of getting out of his pajamas only when he wishes to sleep. His father also removes his own bones before going to bed, hanging them in a tree (protection from hyenas) and reinserting them upon waking. The novel's quotidian improbabilities offer a sly commentary on the politically surreal. In a country tyrannized by military dolts who ''command without governing,'' no one seems startled when a male donkey conceives an infant boy born with military boots on.

Fortunately for American readers, David Brookshaw dexterously renders the novel's often colloquial, pithy Portuguese into lively English. Brookshaw's task is made more exacting by the particular quality of Couto's brilliance: his writing depends less on narrative drive than on epigrammatic flair. The characters in ''The Last Flight of the Flamingo'' speak with a gnomic energy that sounds at once like popular wisdom and something out of Beckett: ''Living is easy: even the dead manage it''; ''The enemy is everywhere, even in our underwear.'' Of the narrator's lonesome aunt we learn that ''her soul admitted no traffic through it, for there was no space for parking.'' The aunt warns her relatives they will inherit nothing, as she is confident that all her possessions will commit suicide if deprived of her company.

One fount of aphoristic wisdom is Anna Godwilling, Tizangara's flamboyant prostitute, brought in to assist the United Nations investigators after another peacekeeping penis has appeared impaled on the blade of a ceiling fan. (The district administrator, setting the fan to maximum speed, still fails to dislodge the determined organ.) The hooker -- an expert on all the town's penises, indigenous and NGO -- emerges as a decisive witness. Godwilling is skeptical toward official everything, including criminal investigations and national reform, of which she notes, ''When you want to clean a nation, all you produce is dirt.''

Risi, amazed that a town as tiny as Tizangara even possesses a prostitute, learns that Godwilling was brought in under a Leninist decentralization program called Operation Production, a program that sought to stimulate local economic initiatives. Despite the Leninists' departure, the prostitute remains productively operational.

ONCE upon a time, the district administrator of Tizangara muses, ''we were socialist tricksters and now we're tricked capitalists.'' What remains unchanged is the free communion between the living and the dead, who harbor, in their memories and their hopes, a vision for the land that defeats its present occupants.

''The Last Flight of the Flamingo'' lampoons bureaucrats whose programmatic mentalities leave them ill attuned to the voices that speak from the grave. Couto lays bare those imaginative failures that masquerade as visionary reforms: as one character puts it, ''Repairs have been carried out in the sky, and only rust has been falling from the clouds.'' This, then, is a protest novel of sorts, a cry against the debasements of politics and language inflicted upon ordinary inhabitants of the ''developing'' world. But fortunately for the reader, ''The Last Flight'' is a serious novel that doesn't take itself too seriously. On almost every page of this witty magic realist whodunit, we sense Couto's delight in those places where language slips officialdom's asphyxiating grasp.

Rob Nixon is working on a book about the environmental effects of ''smart wars.''

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a mesa de luz
 
Citation : The Last Flight of the Flamingo, a review
Friday, February 24, 2006

I always find something I hadn't seen before about Mia Couto or his work. This particular review totally reflects what I think about The Last Flight of the Flamingo, one of the few books that have been translated into English. It was written by Jesse Berrett and published City Pages in Sept. 7, 2005. Here it is:
Mia Couto and the Case of the Dismembered Members
Norman Rush is a white man in Africa. J.M. Coetzee is too. Alexandra Fuller, the manliest literary figure of any nationality since Norman Mailer, is still a white woman in Africa. They're fine writers all, but their prose maintains a distance from the continent's black majority, that hint that something essential hides itself from white eyes and ears.
Mia Couto, a novelist, journalist, and scientist, is the first white writer I've ever read who, to my eyes, pierces that veil. The Last Flight of the Flamingo (Serpent's Tail), Couto's odd, dislocating novel about his native Mozambique, keeps tilting you this way and that. You finish it with the shaky uprightness of a sea voyage, an inability to rely on formerly reliable concepts like "reality" and "dreams." For the first time, a white African novelist has helped me see through black African eyes.
We enter the remote village of Tizangara on the heels of an Italian official, Massimo Risi, who has shown up to conduct an investigation. UN peacekeepers have begun exploding, leaving only their genitals behind. The investigator soon gets more than he bargained for--not in the typical thriller's sense of intrigue, but in a metaphysical manner. "The only facts [here] are supernatural ones," our unnamed narrator sort-of helpfully explains.
The facts on the ground are indeed murky and tendentious. And since the narrator--the town's translator--can't speak Italian, he's not going to be much help anyway. In the aftermath of a crippling civil war, a place that was once ravaged by ideology is now being ravaged by neoliberal economic policies. The old banners celebrating proletarian internationalism, however, can't be replaced by celebrations of capitalism. The paint to make new ones has "disappeared," and the cloth has been "stolen."
That's about as logical as things get. The narrator's father removes and hangs up his skeleton every night; his dead mother continually offers him advice and admonitions. I'm not sure I could explain precisely why the peacekeepers are exploding, or what happens at the end of this mystery. But plot resolution isn't really the point. Couto's animist distrust of everyday knowledge makes for an energetic, off-putting education in just how much of this planet remains for us First-Worlders to try to understand.

Jesse Berrett

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Book Review
 
Citation : The Last Flight of the Flamingo by Mia Couto


Mozambican author Mia Couto was Bath Literary Festival's Writer in Residence and "The Last Flight of the Flamingo" is one of his recent short novels.

Soldiers of the United Nations Blue Helmets force, sent to keep the peace in Mozambique, are blown up in mysterious circumstances leaving nothing behind but their private parts! This is the surprising opening with which Couto seizes the reader's attention in the first chapter of The Last Flight of the Flamingo. The story quickly unfolds, as the quest is on to come up with an official explanation for these bizarre fatalities. Without giving the plot away, the explanation can be said to come from forces within Mozambique, forces that are spiritual, supernatural and hard to define - as well as from forces that are political and, according to the author, all too easily definable.

The story is set in the small town of Tizingara, located in the back of beyond and a thoroughly alien environment for the UN envoy sent to report on the troublesome case of the vanishing Blue Helmets. This is the Italian Massimo Risi, who is initially as risible as his name suggests, but ends up a sympathetic character and serious player in the drama. As Risi gets entangled in local affairs - affairs of the heart as well as his offIcial business - different characters appear, the town's administrator, his power-hungry wife, her corrupt son, the local woman-of-easy-virtue, the witchdoctor, the Catholic priest, an array of colourful personages that are strongly drawn, larger than life; they are types rather than individuals, as this story is not concerned with individuals but with the fate of a country and its people.

Couto writes with charm and humour and disarming humility. The abrupt changes of tone can be disconcerting and the reader may experience exasperation with the local sayings that follow each other thick and fast in certain passages, ranging from sublimely poetic imagery, such as the flamingos of the title that push the sun to bring dawn on the other side of the world, to the inscrutable 'the darkness dresses the hippopotamus' or the downright banal 'a man's urine always falls near him'. Like Risi, the reader may lose patience with the seeming impossibility of fInding any 'normal' reality in the hallucinatory environment of Tizingara. In the end you will conclude that what appears to the uninitiated like a hall of mirrors is the reality of this country. Risi fails to make the reality he encounters conform to the numbered paragraphs of an official report; he cannot understand it from his own, European, perspective, so he goes native and absorbs the reality of Tizingara as the inhabitants themselves understand and create it.

Perhaps this is one of the messages of this book that is complex and intellectual underneath the light-hearted veneer that in the post-colonial, post-Soviet turmoil Mozambique can only recreate itself from within, in its own image and drawing on the spiritual resources of its indigenous past.

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London Review of Books
 
Citation : A Severed Penis
Elizabeth Lowry


Mia Couto is a white Mozambican who writes in Portuguese, perhaps the most prominent of his generation of writers – he is 50 this year – in Lusophone Africa. His recurring theme is post-revolutionary Mozambique’s struggle to achieve credible nationhood; specifically, to channel its resources in such a way as to benefit its people rather than its apparatchiks. Couto’s revolutionary credentials are intriguingly chequered. His medical studies in Maputo were interrupted when he was called by Frelimo to act as a journalist in the run up to independence in 1974-75; he went back to university at the age of 30. While the country was being mauled by civil war, Couto was studying biology. He went on to publish his first collection of short stories, Vozes Anoitecidas (Voices Made Night), in 1986 and his first novel, Terra Sonâmbula (‘Sleepwalking Land’), in 1992, the year a peace agreement with Renamo ended the fighting. Couto had, in the interim, served as the director of the Mozambique Information Agency. He continues to work as an environmental biologist – less tangential to his career as a writer than it might appear.

* The Last Flight of the Flamingo by Mia Couto, translated by David Brookshaw

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The Guardian
 
Citation : Difficult legacies
Becky Clarke
Saturday 22 July 2000 22.53 BST

The voices from former Portuguese colonies in Africa, Angola and Mozambique draw on a common heritage: the language of Portugal. But today's Lusophone African writers share a number of characteristics besides language. Many, for instance, have been instrumental in championing the plight of the marginalised masses. And besides having continually to skirt around constant surveillance by the authorities, writers in Lusophone Africa have had to confront the themes of the damaging effects of war, famine and economic mismanagement. The infrastructure for the printing and book publishing industries in Africa is, meanwhile, virtually non-existent.

However, some Lusophone African writers, in particular Mia Couto and Pepetela, have been able to build on support and encouragement from publishing houses in Portugal to create the beginnings of a global reputation. Other writers from Portuguese Africa, such as the Angolan Sousa Jamba (author of the acclaimed novels Patriots and A Lonely Devil), have found success by writing in English.

Couto, born in Mozambique in 1955, is considered the most prominent of the younger generation of writers in Portuguese-speaking Africa. In his novels and short stories, translated into various languages, Couto passionately and sensitively describes everyday life in poverty-stricken Mozambique. In O Ultimo Voo Do Flamingo (The Last Flight of the Flamingo), his latest novel, published by Caminho last month, Couto delivers yet another piece of ingenious literature - gripping and mysterious, yet never without humour. Couto's other books in translation include Voices Made Night, Every Man is a Race and Under the Frangipani Tree (out in English next year).

Talent comes aplenty in Mozambique, and these days it comes young, too. Born in Maputo in 1967, Nelson Saute is considered a rising star. Picked up by Lisbon-based publishers Dom Quixote on the strength of his book of short stories O Apostolo da Desgraca (The Apostle of Misfortune), he has just completed his first novel.

Pepetela, born in Angola in 1941, is the second author alongside Couto whom anyone interested in Lusophone African literature cannot ignore. His new book, scheduled for publication in Portugal later this year, describes the Lupi - "some strange creatures in the mountains". The Lupi are vegetarians who lead a calm life discovering nature. One day a purple pleasant-smelling liquid bubbles from a source in the ground. Little by little, the wise men discover its diverse capacities. Everything changes for the Lupi. Will they be able to resist? This is a real African fable with genuine modern application.

Another talented writer in the Portuguese African diaspora is Emmanuel Rui, born in Huambo in Angola. A novelist, songwriter, poet and columnist, Rui is renowned for his uncompromising stance. His forthcoming title Noticias do Huambo (News from Huambo) is due for publication in 2001. Rui's heroes are very often children and women fighting for survival.

One of the liveliest publishers of work from Lusophone Africa is the Porto-based Campo das Letras. Last year Campo published Arnaldo Santos's first novel A Casa Velha das Margens (The Old House on the Bank), the story of an Angolan immigrant's lonely studies in Lisbon during the 19th century and of the alienation he experiences on his return to Angola. This story, and the publisher's efforts to bring it to a wider audience, make for a resonant example of the richness and difficulty of the cultural heritage shared by Portugal and its former colonies.

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