Jose Maria Joao was born in Angola on 19 March 1972. When he was 15 years old Unita rebels captured him while he was walking home from the market where he was selling mangoes to support his family. He was forced to either join the rebel army or get killed on the spot.
It was a reality he had been avoiding since he was big enough to walk to school on his own. Five years of war changed his mind, a lot of things in his life. It was just bullets and fight. Every single day. He always asked himself “What people are gonna find there”? He saw a lot of people dying and he killed a lot of people.
Being sad and tired of all that atrocity, one night Jose has a dream and decides to risk death to act on it.
Tired of seeing narratives that glamorise war and fighting, Sout African director Dave Meinert believes that filmmakers are responsible for the stories they tell. “Jose’s story, coupled with his gentle nature and trademark smile has made us weep many times and we are privileged that he’d share it with us,” he says. “There’s maybe never been a more relevant time to start sharing stories about the real casualties of war”.
Director: Dave Meinert
DP | Michael Cleary
Editor | Lucian Barnard
Composer | Braam Du Toit
Lenght | 03:11
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