Sing My Sister - A Film Trilogy

© Odette Mulungu
© Karen Boswall
© Isard Pindula


Directed by Alzira Guetsa & André Bahule & Karen Boswall
Duration 83’ (29’, 26’, 28’) | Portuguese, Yawa, Changana with English subtitles

Drawing on a rich body of ethnographic and musical research, this trilogy takes the viewer on a journey through women’s and girls’ music and dance in three regions of Mozambique. Each musical genre explored represents gendered ideological moments in their county's gradual progress towards women’s and girls’ human rights: traditional songs of work, ritual and motherhood; xingomana, which reflects post-civil war liberatory politics; and a feminised version of xigubu, a male warrior dance, performed by young women in response to gender-based violence.

Abdré Bahule is a DJ, filmmaker and sound engineer and film graduate from Maputo’s Higher Institute of Art and Culture (ISArC). He researched the film Nhenha as part of the Speak My Sister research project in 2018. He is currently completing his second film a collaboration between Mozambique and Brazil about women’s hip hop in Rio and Maputo.

Karen Boswall is a filmmaker, ethnomusicologist and visual anthropologist. She lived and worked in Mozambique between 1990 and 2007. Her films and radio documentaries explore the spiritual, cultural and environmental worlds of individuals and communities through their music and dance practices.

Alzira Guetsa is a film graduate from the Higher Institute of Art and Culture (ISArC), in Maputo, Mozambique. Her first film won her an award as best newcomer. Her second, Victorious Dancer (2018) broke the taboo around sexual abuse in Mozambique and has been screened widely in Mozambique and Brazil. Salt and Song is her third film and second creative collaboration with Karen Boswall.

Karen Boswall will be present at WOMEX 21.

Production Country and Year Mozambique, UK, 2021
Producer Karen Boswall
Directors André Bahule, Alzira Guetsa, Karen Boswall
Directors of Photography Samo Mulla, Isard Pindula, Emídio Jozine, Karen Boswall
Sound André Bahule, Lourdes Rubaine, Karen Boswall
Editors Alzira Guetsa, André Bahule, Ariadine Zampaulo, Cecilia Engels, Ricardo Dionisio, Karen Boswall