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Sambizanga (1972)

Domingos is a member of an African liberation movement, arrested by the Portuguese secret police, after bloody events in Angola. He does not betray his companions, but is beaten to death in... See full summary »


Sarah Maldoror


Claude Agostini (dialogue), Claude Agostini (screenplay) | 5 more credits »
3 wins. See more awards »


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Cast overview:
Domingos de Oliveira Domingos de Oliveira ... Domingos
Elisa Andrade Elisa Andrade ... Maria
Jean M'Vondo Jean M'Vondo ... Petelo
Dino Abelino Dino Abelino ... Zito (as Adelino Nelumba)
Benoît Moutsila Benoît Moutsila ... Chico
Talagongo Talagongo ... Miguel (as Tala Ngongo)
Lopes Rodrigues Lopes Rodrigues ... Mussunda
Henriette Meya Henriette Meya ... Bebiana
Manuel Videira Manuel Videira ... PIDE agent
Ana Wilson Ana Wilson ... Narrator (voice)


Domingos is a member of an African liberation movement, arrested by the Portuguese secret police, after bloody events in Angola. He does not betray his companions, but is beaten to death in prison, and not knowing he is dead, his wife goes from a prison station to another, trying in vain to know where he is. Written by Artemis-9

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Angola | France



Release Date:

26 April 1973 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Sambizanga See more »

Filming Locations:

Brazzaville, Republic Of Congo

Company Credits

Production Co:

Isabelle Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Members of Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA) and of the Congolese political groups who helped them, took part in the film as actors and extras. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Angolan Struggle
4 September 2014 | by souvikmeetszeusSee all my reviews

This is a tragic, personal and political film – set in Angola (shot in Congo), and narrating the struggles and realities of the African Liberation Front. Dominguez, a soldier, a loving husband and a hard-working truck driver is arrested by the Portuguese secret police. What ensues is a story of inhuman cruelty and torture even as frail, oppressed and brave Africans try to resist and break free. The film could not have been shot in Angola, since the country was still fighting for its freedom – and thus the immense impact and significance of this film in 1973 can only be imagined. Both Domingos de Olivieira and Elisa Andrade are fantastic – but the entire cast does its job, be it the kids, the old or the Angolan fighters, also the Whites. Domingos, especially, is shot beautifully and he really comes to symbolize all of Angola's pain and injustice. The message and overall tone is deeply Marxist, with the 'rich' being marked as the enemy, and not the Whites. Angola's economy continues to suffer even today because of this huge divide between the rich and poor – and maybe there were/are reasons, but the vision of this film largely remains unrealized by the country. The quality of my print wasn't good, but the film was an absorbing one and somehow, the yellowish, haggard quality of the rip complemented the film. The film is fiction, yes, such stories are strewn across the history of African liberation, yes – but this cinematic account effectively drives home the helpless situation that many Africans dealt with. And like I said, its impact on Angolans in 1973 can only be imagined – and hence, it is immensely important. Not to take away a shred of credit from the filmmaking though – a great convergence of camera angles, acting and thematic treatment.

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