As Noites Ainda Cheiram a Pólvora

The Nights Still Smell of Gunpowder
It is dark and stays dark. Through the medium of nightmares, sounds, absent images and a child’s black-and-white photo in dry foliage, the film – slowly and in fragments – explores the memory of the civil war in Mozambique, which lasted from 1977 to 1992. Archival material is carefully deployed. The fighters for independence (FRELIMO) and the rebels of the National Resistance (RENAMO) fought each other, and countless landmines claimed their victims. Filmmaker Inadelso Cossa, still a carefree child at the time, now visits his grandmother’s village. Victims, perpetrators, former rebel fighters and surviving civilians live here. Cossa asks the sound recordist Moises, who hears voices from the graves at dusk: “Do you want to talk about it?” The filmmaker’s grandmother is suffering from the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s and can only remember at night. A former rebel numbs himself with alcohol and continues the battles in his soul. The echoes of horror are omnipresent. Against the backdrop of Mozambique’s now taboo civil war history, As Noites Ainda Cheiram a Pólvora develops a sensory approach to ghosts, to missing and fictitious memories.
by Inadelso Cossa
with Inadelso Cossa, Maria Estevão, Moises Langa, Macuacua, Zalina, Elisa
Mozambique / Germany / France / Portugal / Netherlands / Norway 2024 Tsonga, Portuguese 93’ World premiere | Documentary form


  • Inadelso Cossa
  • Maria Estevão
  • Moises Langa
  • Macuacua
  • Zalina
  • Elisa


Director Inadelso Cossa
Screenplay Inadelso Cossa
Cinematography Inadelso Cossa
Editing Tomás Baltazar, Inadelso Cossa
Sound Design Taco Drijfhout
Sound Moises Langa
Producers Thomas Kaske, Emilie Dudognon, Inadelso Cossa
Co-Producers Frank Hoeve, António Câmara Manuel, Elisa Fernanda Pirir, Ragna N. Midtgard, Birk Hanum
Co-Production DuplaCena Lissabon
BALDR Film Amsterdam
STÆR Tromsø
Filmreaktor Tromsø

Inadelso Cossa

Mozambican filmmaker and member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences member since 2020. He is the founder of 16mmFILMES. His debut documentary, A Memory in Three Acts, premiered at IDFA in 2016, winning the Jury Special Award at the Zanzibar International Film Festival in 2018.


2016 Uma memória em três atos (A Memory in Three Acts); documentary 2020 Karingana – The Dead Tell No Tales; short film 2024 As Noites Ainda Cheiram a Pólvora (The Nights Still Smell of Gunpowder); documentary

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2024