Essas São As Armas (1978) - full transcript




In a few words I would say

that they are attacking us
because they are enemies of freedom.

Imperialism, imperialism...
I mean the racist, the colonialist,

all these are always enemies of freedom.

I'd say they're attacking us

because they don't want to see
Mozambican people independent.

They don't want to see
an independent Mozambican people.

Produced by National Film Institute of Maputo
May 1978


Mozambique was dominated
by Portuguese colonialism for 500 years.

For 500 years, especially
after the so-called "war of occupation",

we learned that the true face
of colonialism is aggression.

The colonial armies
are armies of aggression.

Colonialism itself is permanent aggression.

A form of aggression that aims to maintain
dominance for the sake of exploitation.

The compulsory cultivation of cotton

was one of the many violent ways
our people were exploited.

We were dying of hunger while making cotton

and we were forced
to sell cotton for the price of hunger.

Our sweat served to
enrich those exploiting us.

Colonialism divided us to better dominate us.

But the colonialists understood each other.

They arranged ways
to steal from us more effectively

and held meetings to figure out
how best to oppress and dominate us.

Let's see some of the images
of these meetings.

Let's see who was one of
Portuguese colonialism's major allies.


All the top dignitaries of Lourenço Marques
rushed to the airport,

to welcome the Governor General
of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland

at the beginning of his
official visit to Mozambique.

Next to the runway platform,

a guard of honor paid appropriate homage
to His Majesty's representative.

During his stay in Lourenço Marques,
His Excellency made a visit to the port,

where large volumes of cargo
are handled for the Federation.

The major railway company operating centers
merited his special attention

because that is where the delicate
and flawless work is carried out

to ensure the proper functioning
of vital lines of communication,

which largely depend on
the economic life of the Federation.

One of the highlights of the visit
was the banquet for the guests of honor

hosted by the Governor General
and Mrs. Correia de Barros.

Commander Mr. Correia de Barros
took to the floor

referring to the Portuguese mission in Africa

and how well relations
have always been maintained

ending with a toast
in honor of the distinguished visitors.

Lord Darhouse responded by uttering
words of great sympathy for Portugal

and referred enthusiastically to the
friendly and continually expanding exchange

between the Federation and Mozambique.

The personal contact between the two men

would surely bring benefits
to the friendly countries they represented.

At the meeting we just saw

there was no talk of
exploitation or oppression.

But that's what they were dealing in.

That is what was worrying
the representatives of Portuguese colonialism

and of British colonialism.

Colonialism is an instrument of imperialism.

Imperialism feeds on the blood of the people.

Let's now see some more images

showing the colonial governors
recruiting their agents in our midst.

We will see that colonialism
not only used violence to oppress us,

but also psychosocial means.

The corrupt feudal chiefs

were internal allies of colonialism.

Mozambique is surely...

They even called themselves Portuguese!

...a national expression.

A Portuguese word

that means Portugal.

In it there is all the nobility

that turn all words beautiful.

A kind of candor

with a welcome taste.


Such a beautiful word

whenever it is said,

whoever will say it.


It's cheerful as the cheetah,
it has the grace and the timbre

of a woman's smile.

...but we never surrendered.

Our people have always resisted
occupation and colonial domination.

Our resistance to colonialism
is a story of many revolts.

But we were always losers
because we were divided

by tribalism, regionalism, racism.

Down with the colonialists!

Down with the colonialists!

The struggle continues!

The struggle continues!

Independence or death, Mozambique!

Independence or death, Mozambique!

Here, in the Cabo Delgado province,
when the war started,

we only had 25 soldiers.

Did you hear that?

These are the weapons
that began the war here in Cabo Delgado.

FRELIMO will be victorious

in the struggle for freedom.

FRELIMO will triumph...

FRELIMO rallied our people
around our ideal fatherland.

It was FRELIMO that taught us
that our secret is unity,

that our main strength is the people.

Mozambican men and women,

workers and peasants,

workers from plantations
and sawmills,

mine workers, railway workers,

port and factory workers,

intellectuals, officers, students,

Mozambican soldiers in the Portuguese army,

men, women and adolescents, patriots:

on your behalf, FRELIMO today proclaims

the general armed insurrection
of the Mozambican people

against Portuguese colonialism

to achieve the full and complete
independence of Mozambique.

We will not stop fighting
until the complete and total removal

of Portuguese colonialism
has been attained.

Since FRELIMO was established,

colonialism feels very threatened.

It has been preparing
its forces for combat

and strengthening its alliances.

Who is the first to come
to the rescue of Portuguese colonialism?

Who is this talking to Salazar?

It's Smith, of course.

They have many common interests.

So they are allies.

The Portuguese were able
to dominate us for a long time

because we were unable to achieve unity.

We had no understanding
of how important our unity was.

Long live FRELIMO!

Long live
the liberation movement of FRELIMO!

Long live
the liberation movement of FRELIMO!

Long live the Mozambican people!

Long live the Mozambican people!

Independence or death!

Independence or death!

The struggle continues!

The struggle continues!

The struggle continues!

Down with the enemy!

Sometimes you need to trample...

Down with Portuguese colonialism!

FRELIMO did not only recruit fighters,

it transformed lives.

It set loose initiative

and made people aware of their strength.

Armed struggle

was the highest form
of resistance to colonial aggression.

Armed struggle was the affirmation
of our culture and our national identity.

Within the ranks of the aggressor's army
those who distinguished themselves

are those who massacred defenseless people
and destroyed the population's property.

They are the heroes of colonialism.

The bombings carried out by the enemy

are to destroy the conditions
created by these weapons.

The people knew
how to transform pain into new strength

as soon as they were certain of victory.

The people could draw
on the depths of suffering,

draw on courage for continued resistance,

and engage in further tasks
linked to the armed struggle.

The enemy
could try to destroy or burn down

this indestructible certainty,
but they could not conquer it.

Out of the ashes, life will return anew.

Life in the liberated zones
forged new production conditions

and led us to understand
the underlying reason for our struggle.

We denounced and neutralized
the new explorers who appeared in our midst.

That wasn't what we were fighting for.

After all the sacrifices we had made

and all the bloodshed,

we were not about to let Black exploiters
take the place of White ones.

Our struggle was to expel colonialism

and all forms of exploitation and domination.

The target is in this direction.

Attention! Fire!


To fully understand
how developed our war actually is

and our presence here... This really means
our war is highly developed.

It is a decisive battle,
both for the enemy and for us.

That's because of the direct intervention
of so many foreigners,

such as those from South Africa and Southern
Rhodesia who are entering our country.

It's therefore crucial
both for FRELIMO and the enemy.

After the events on the Tete front,

we experienced a large-scale incursion

by the Rhodesian forces...

operating to the north of the Zambezi River.

They were operating
throughout that part of the Zambezi River

together with Portuguese forces.

And at one time
they were operating on their own.

Portuguese colonialism could not stop
the advance of the armed struggle.

So they decided to take advantage
of a natural barrier, the Zambezi River.

They considered the North Zone
to be contaminated by FRELIMO

and the South,
it was the area for the settlers.

This area had to be defended at all costs.





For the Cahora Bassa project,

imperialism came out in force
to help Portuguese colonialism.

The Cahora Bassa
would be an insurmountable barrier

to prevent the crossing of the Zambezi River.

Moreover, the population would be expelled
from the area

and the valley would be occupied
by a million white settlers

to be recruited in several countries.

As the Portuguese army was not
powerful enough to defend the area

and safeguard the construction work,

the armies of South Africa and Rhodesia

began to operate openly
in the areas allocated to them.

In December 1970,
FRELIMO crossed the Zambezi.

These guys in shorts are Rhodesians.

This was one of many joint operations

they carried out
with the Portuguese colonial army.

The purpose of these operations
was to cut off FRELIMO's supply routes

and prevent the struggle
from making progress.

Their tactics were to carry out massacres
to intimidate the population.

They were experts
at murdering unarmed people.

In Tete province,

they used so-called
Minerva tactics during this period.

These tactics were carried out

by Rhodesian forces,

whose goal it was to destroy property
and continue to terrorize the population,

killing children, old men and women...

Some say there is a colonial war.

What colonial war?

It is easy to see

that none of this is occurring
in the Portuguese overseas territories.

The overseas provinces are at peace.

At the first little jolt from savage...

...savage murderers and rapists!

Should we raise our arms in surrender?

Marcello Caetano is saying
there is no such thing as a colonial war.

He wants Portuguese soldiers
to come in secret to kill in Mozambique

and die in secret too.

But Caetano didn't know
that you can't stop the wind with your hands.

People that take up guns to free themselves
cannot be defeated.

Our experience tells us

that social justice, freedom, and peace

can't be achieved
just by following through on good intentions.

Just yesterday, colonialism
was pointing its weapons of oppression

towards our legitimate desire for freedom.

Today is June 21st.

It's the Day of Victory
for the entire Mozambican people,

united from Rovuma to Maputo.

This victory

was achieved
at the cost of innumerable sacrifices.

It's against our victory,

against our freedom and independence,

that assaults are being committed.


The threat hasn't disappeared today.

The ones that exploited us before

have not renounced
the proceeding stages of exploitation.

Capitalists don't willingly accept
the end of their privileges.

Our fight has to be organized in the same way
as it was during the armed struggle.

Oppressed people must organize themselves.

The aim of our struggle,
the struggle of the working classes,

is to build our country as a society

without either exploiters or the exploited.

To achieve our objectives,

we must engage in a fight on several fronts,

a fight for life or death against
class enemies who are ready for anything.

It is necessary more than ever

to reinforce the social classes

engaged in the continuation
of the revolutionary process

so they can lead the process

and be capable of neutralizing
the class enemy's manipulations.

This will lead
to the triumph of the Revolution.

The party was founded
based on an understanding

on the part of the FRELIMO militants

and those most conscious

within the working classes

that without a revolutionary party

who can lead the working masses
and peasant masses

and all the other workers

through social class struggle,

through economic,

political and ideological battles,

socialism will not be possible to be built.

It is from this perspective...

It is from this perspective

that the Central Committee


at its third congress,

the foundation of the Vanguard Party,

the Marxist-Leninist Party.

Workers of the world, unite!

Let's build a new world

against capitalism.


Let's build a new world

against capitalism.

Workers of the world, unite!

Down with capitalism!

Down with imperialism!

Down with capitalism!

Down with imperialism!

Onward, workers!

Onward, workers!

Down with capitalism!

Down with imperialism!

Down with capitalism!

Down with imperialism!

I've been a glassblower since 1962.

I carry the glass
from the furnace to the machine.

We make close to 3000 cups each day.

There used to be many officers here.

You could count 2 or 3 officers
at every machine.

Now that they've all fled to Lisbon,

only servants stayed.

The ones working here now
were servants under the colonial regime.

They are producing much more now.

Back then, in 1973,

the production target
was between 60 and 96 million

and now, after the revolution,

with mass mobilization,

production is increasing.

In 77...

In 77, we managed to produce

around 126 million units.

Now, in 78,

we are prepared to produce

around 200 million.

We expect to produce even more
than we are producing now.

Production is important for the sake
of the people and their children,

and for our country too.

Independence brings a new battle with it:
national reconstruction.

A fight to have food, to have clothes,

to have schools, to build houses
where workers can live.

To produce is to organize this victory.


The third congress gave us weapons.

For keeping up the fight, day-for-day.

For fighting with hand tools and hoes.

To turn the factory, the farm,

the cooperative, the communal village

into the instruments
that will lead us to a new life.

Here are number 7 and number 4.

Let's make it into a game.

We take the number of dozens

and put them in their own dish.

We also put the units in another dish.

It's addition.

So let's add:

4 units to 5 more units.

How many are they now?

There are 9 units.

Alas, not everyone knew it.

5 fingers on one hand. C'mon...

4 on the other hand.

4 on the other hand.
That's what's here, isn't it?

5 fingers...

5 cobs, that's right?

When there are 4 cobs more,
how many cobs are they now?

Let's start counting
from the hand that has 5, c'mon.

One cob...

two cob,

three cob.
- Three cobs.

Four cobs,

five cobs...

At this point,
the entire Mozambican people are free.

So it should be the people themselves
to make the choice.

We were surprised when Comrade Sheleman
was presented as a candidate to represent us.

It's the people who must decide.

We can't do as we did before.

The kinglet can't govern
before the people have decided

whether he should be the one to do so.
In my opinion, Comrade Sheleman

does not deserve to be the representative
of this popular assembly.

Long live FRELIMO!

Long live FRELIMO!

When the people present their problems,

the wrong decisions are taken,

much like the kinglet used to do
in colonial times.

This is candidate Suha Afaneh.

He is a farmer
and he lives in Barbarane village.

He is here
and we must make a decision about him now.

Whoever's in favor should raise their cards.

All those in favor, cards in the air!

The people choose
from amongst their own ranks

those who will represent them
in exercising power.

Here are the ones
whose voices were never heard.

We purify our ranks,
we strengthen our unity.


I call the peasant Alan Olombe!

Cards against Comrade Fátima Amesi!

Cards against!


We all approve.

Imperialists can't stand
looking at these images.

They don't understand how illiterate people
can be capable of exercising their own power.

They can't bear to see
how people that were exploited

can be organizing
themselves against exploitation.

They can't abide an end to robbing,
oppression and humiliation.

That's why they attack us.


Armed hostilities against our country

are part of the imperialist action plan

in southern Africa.

These assaults aim to prevent us
consolidating our independence.

They aim to discredit popular power.

Ian Smith
is merely a local agent of imperialism.

What kind of targets do the enemy choose
when they invade our country?

Are they defense facilities?
Are they military forces?


These images tell it better.

They destroy civilian targets,

they attack defenseless people

like in Massangena, Mapai, Mavonde,

Chioco, Nuro, Gento and Chicualacuala.

This bridge is on the main road to Tete.

All the Angónia production comes from there.

All the Tete and Niassa
agricultural machinery, fertilizers

and seeds also comes from there.

It's no coincidence
that this bridge was destroyed.

And these trucks?

And these buses?

These railway wagons?

This is the language
of imperialism in despair.

These images show the damage
caused in Chioco Hospital

after the cowardly attack
carried out by racist troops.

What do they mean,
all these crimes committed

against the Mozambican people,

against the young
People's Republic of Mozambique?

First of all, it means

that the Ian Smith regime
is openly at war with Mozambique.

The intention is to carry the contradictions

that oppress the people of Zimbabwe
beyond its borders.

This man's name is Van der Byl.

He's the Minister of Foreign Affairs
of Ian Smith's racist,

minority, and illegal government.

In this interview,
he was speaking as the Minister of Defense.

The question was if their troops were engaged
in any hostile activities against FRELIMO

while they were invading Mozambique.

He replies that no hostile action
was mounted against FRELIMO.

For Mr Van der Byl, penetrating Mozambique
is not a hostile action against FRELIMO.

Van der Byl's cynicism, his arrogance,

is because he knows
that their criminal actions

have the support of imperialism.

Now he's being asked
if the objectives of the Rhodesians

changed once they entered Mozambique.

He answers
that the objective has always been

to eliminate the terrorists
and thereby defend civilians of Rhodesia.

For imperialism,
the terrorists are the children,

old men, and helpless women

that racists will massacre
in the refugee camps.

The full liberation of Africa,

the end of discrimination and of Apartheid,

shadows of the past
that still protrude into the present,

are a sacred duty

for all African people

and all people of the world.

The People's Republic of Mozambique

is aware of specific responsibilities

it deserves as a member

of the United Nations

and as a country

that is confronted geographically

with the last bastions of racism in Africa.

The People's Republic of Mozambique

will give no ground

in fulfilling its internationalist duty.

We don't give in
to intimidation or blackmail.

We don't give in to any attack,

no matter how barbarous and cruel.

These are the weapons that started the war,
here in Cabo Delgado!

The cannons you have
started with these weapons.

The bazookas and parts you have today
started with these weapons.

The production you have today,

groundnut, sesame and nuts,

they came from these weapons.

We are grateful to all those who helped in
and made possible the production of this film.

This film was produced
exclusively in Mozambique.

I.N.C. Laboratories.