Sculpting the Spirits

Film completed

This story is about the magical world of the Bijagós people whose close relationship with spirits and nature informs their daily life and every decision taken by the community.

Their belief that man, nature and spirits are equal and interdependent makes the Bijagós a lost paradise. It is through sculpture that the intricate relationship of the Bijagós people with nature and spirits is best expressed.

Banca, a famous sculptor of Iras (spirits), feeling tired, old and worried about the future of a culture in profound transformation, does his last sculpture instructing his son in the hope he will take over.

Guided by a storyteller and our characters' voice Sculpting the Spirits is a journey exploring how women embody spirits while men sculpt or perform them.

54 min

HDCam 16:9


Directors / producers: Luís Correia & Noé Mendelle

Co-production: LX Filmes & SDI Productions

Director of Photography: Luís Correia & Madalena Boto
Sound: Noé Mendelle & Sana Na N’Hada
Editor: Patrícia Gomes
Assistant editor: Martha Appelt
Production manager (Bijagos): Adão Lopes Correia
Associate producer: Sana Na N'Hada
Translator: Francisco Gomes Mustasse



  • Screening in Lisbon – Gulbenkian museum 15 September 2014
  • IDFA Doc for sales – November 2014
  • Screening in Bissau – Portuguese cultural centre 21 April 2015
  • Screening in Lisbon – AfrikaPlay exhibition 25 April 2015
  • Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival (India) - 30 April 2015
  • RAI (UK) 16 June 2015
  • WINNER - Parnu International Film Festival (Estonia) 11 July 2015 (Best film on survival of indigenous peoples)

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