At the end of 2016, under the responsibility of the International Institute of Macau (IIM) and with the support of the Macau Foundation (FM), journalist and researcher Joquim Magalhães de Castro collected the testimony of Macanese residents in North America, having toured several cities for record the oral history of the experience of these emigrants and family members.
As a result of this work, IIM began to prepare a series of videos about the Macaense Diaspora in North America presenting, in the first part, the personal testimonies of those who lived those troubled times in which the Japanese invaded northern China, the withdrawal of Macanese families from Shanghai, the subsequent Pacific War and the occupation of Hong Kong, a period when many of them took refuge in Macau where an extraordinary number of other refugees also flocked.
This initiative aims to preserve the memories of the Macanese communities scattered around the world, to make the new generations aware of the social changes that caused the great migratory flow of people from Macau, the reasons for their “displacement” and to remind them that their roots are still in Macau.
The project contains a total of four documentary segments of about 30 minutes each, with each segment of the series being able to respect different parts of history and experiences. The first and second episodes are already made and the third in the process of being completed, including subtitling, during this year.
The first of the series had already been shown, in a preview, in late 2018, having received favorable comments. In 2019, it was presented to the public at the University of Macau and later promoted to the public of Chinese speakers on Macau Cable TV. The documentary was also selected to debut in the “Sound & Image Festival 2019” contest, in December of that year.
With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which lasted this year, IIM chose to schedule these two episodes of the documentary on its pages on the digital platforms Facebook and YouTube, starting at 12 noon on the 14th of August (Friday), both subtitled in Chinese and Portuguese. The IIM hopes, in this way, to attract more public views, not only from Macau but from other parts of the world.
The documentary entitled “Macaenses - Uma Odisseia”, is being produced based on the script of the researcher Mariana Leitão Pereira, with editing by António Pinto Marques, and original songs composed and performed by several Macanese artists, namely Armando Santos and Isa Manhão Seto.