Guerrilla Grannies – How To Live In This World

In the 1970s, filmmaker Ike Bertels was intrigued by an image of three young women on a BBC documentary about the Mozambique Liberation Front.  After searching for them for more than a decade, Ike traveled to Mozambique to meet them for the first time – three fierce female guerrillas fighting for the liberation of a nation and in the process, the liberation of its women.  Over the next 2 decades, Ike visited the women two more times:  in 1994, after the end of the civil war and again in 2011. Guerrilla Grannies tells the story of this last visit.  The guerrillas are older now. They have dedicated their lives to revolution.  In the latter years, as mothers and grandmothers, they must confront the meaning of freedom for their children in an increasingly uncertain globalised world.

SYNOPSIS (275 words)

How is it possible that the African country Mozambique on the World Ranking of countries with the most women in high positions acquires a place in the Top 15? On number 12 (with nearly 40%). By way of comparison: Sweden holds 4 (with 44%) and the Netherlands number 8 (40%). Could you conclude that first president Samora Machel’s plan for ‘the new man’ that he added to the proclamation of independence, has been fruitful?

The film GUERRILLA GRANNIES by director Ike Bertels portrays three strong women who, fighting with the Womens Detachment of FRELIMO’s liberation army, not only helpeld to free the country from Portuguese colonialism, but also paved the way for the emancipation of the Mozambican woman.

Bertels filmed Monica, Amelia and Maria on three important moments in their turbulent life which allows a unique glance into the personal development of women who seemed to be predestined to only work on the land and to bear children.

From their life story that takes place in a country that is reinventing itself, it shows that revolutionary ideals – in this case equality between men and women and chances for education – can become reality when people, women, are prepared to fight for it all their life.

GUERRILLA GRANNIES is a personal, intimate film about the lives of Monica, Amelia and Maria with moving moments of trial and error, of combativeness and perseverance, of hig expectations and bitter disappointment.

But even a born farmer has to await if she can reap what she has sown. It is striking that from the children and grandchildren of these grannies, the girls seem to be able to realize their ambitions best.

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