Hot Docs 2019: Our Review of ‘The Sound of Masks’

Hot Docs 2019: Our Review of ‘The Sound of Masks’

Before stories we’re told through words, we told them through dance…

It’s a story of a collision between the past and the present as we meet Atanásio Nyusi, a compelling storyteller and legendary Mapiko dancer takes us on a visually dramatic journey through Mozambique’s past and present.

The Sound of Masks uses a healthy blend of archival and contemporary footage to really encapsulate the life’s work of this man; to preserve his country’s history through dance and while it’s more now about being preserved than anything else, the rebellious side of it cannot be denied and the concern for it surviving after he has passed on is something incredibly real to him.

While director Sara CF de Gouveia uses some really stark and often beautiful imagery this is truly a film about the importance of not only tradition but being able to pass them down through the generations.

Atanásio makes for a wonderful subject and through this art form he does allow us as a viewer to not only get a sense of history but also those emotional perspectives of particular moments that are passed down.  They may change and evolve but it always feels like it’s an incredibly important function of the dance to not only comprehend the story it tells but to really connect with it as well.  That’s really what is at the core power of any art form, for it to transcend the place it comes from but time itself.

All in all, The Sound of Masks is a film that is about preserving not only our stories, but it’s about preserving the ways that we all uniquely express ourselves all over the world.  It’s the essence of an international story as it’s something that we don’t have to think about, it’s just ingrained in us.

  • Release Date: 5/1/2019
This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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