Issa, a footballer from Guinea-Bissau who plays in Portugal, is contacted by two filmmakers who want to know more about his life and make a documentary. Exposing the voices behind the camera, NHA SUNHU is a reflection on the gaze, bias, and representation of the other.

Director's Statement

How does the director's bias influence the representation of the other?

Documentary cinema is a powerful tool for portraying the world, but is based on an intrinsically imbalanced relationship: holding the camera also means holding power over how the other is represented. Given the variables of this imbalanced relationship, a process of questioning (and self-questioning) of the gaze, stand-point, and perspective in this representation is crucial. This reflection becomes even more important when there is uneven power in the relationship owing to race or to a colonial past. At a time when it became essential for cinema to hear and portray the voices of those historically and socially under-represented, it is important that their stories cease to be restricted to a prevailing Western and white gaze, and to a system where the entitlement of standing “behind the camera” is preserved and perpetuated. NHA SUNHU is a fictional film based on the real cycle of exploitation of African football players in my home country, Portugal. Subverting expectations from a documental approach, the narrative turns the spotlight back onto the director, questioning his role: who is the one telling the story and how is the story being told?

Director's Biography

José Magro is a director and screenwriter based in Porto, Portugal. His fiction films have been awarded and selected for film festivals all over the world, including Tampere, Vienna, São Paulo, Guadalajara, Melbourne and Cork.

2021 - NHA SUNHU
2015 - VIAGEM

Cast & Crew

Directed by: José Magro

Written by: José Magro

Produced by: José Magro, João Niza Ribeiro

Cinematography: Miguel da Santa, Tiago Carvalho

Editing: José Magro, Miguel da Santa

Original Score: Diron Animal, Slim Kubano, Pasky , Venax YRN

Sound: Dinis Henriques, Tiago Cardoso

Main Cast: Joãozinho da Costa (Issa), Danilo da Mata (Djá), Diogo Cardoso (Director 1), João Lourenço (Director 2)

Nominations and Awards

  • Short Film Candidates 2021