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FESPACO 2013 - Mozambican Drama 'Virgin Margarida' (Prostitutes Sent To *Renewal* Camps)

Festivals
by Tambay A. Obenson
January 30, 2013 4:51 PM
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Scheduled to screen at the twenty third (23rd) edition of the Pan-African Film & TV Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO), which will take place from February 23 to March 22013, is a drama from Mozambique, directed by Licinio Azevedo, titled, Virgem Margarida (Virgin Margarida) - a feature film, set in 1975, as revolution swept the streets of its capital Maputo, ridding it of prostitutes and other so-called *undersirables*. The women are then sent to re-education camps, to become "new women." However, unfortunately for her, 16-year-old Margarida is mistakenly taken; the problem is she's not a prostitute; she's actually a virgin (hence the title). The film tells her story.

Here's a full synopsis:

Mozambique 1975. The revolutionary government wants to eradicate all the traces of colonialism. Prostitution being one of them. All the prostitues are taken to the most isolated forest in the country where they are to be reeducated and transformed into new women, under the watch of guerrilla women warriors. Amongst the 500 prostitutes is 14-year-old Margarida, who was in town to buy her bridal trousseau. Because she doesn't have her ID documents, she's taken by mistake. In the reeducation center, the revelation that Margarida is a virgin cchanges everything. The other prostitutes start to worship her like a saint.

Director Azevedo, who is said to have been under the tutelage of icons like Jean Luc-Godard and Jean Rouch, works in a combo documentary/scripted fiction style, usually reflecting the varied real-life stories that are live in Mozambique, his home country.

Virgin Margarida is his 10th feature since 1995. I have a lot of catching up to do apparently.

It made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall, and is headed to FESPACO next month/

Watch the trailer below for a glimpse of what to expect:

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