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Set in northern Mozambique in the 1980s, a train under military guard must transport its passengers and goods 200 miles through guerrilla-held territory during the Mozambican civil war. As rivalries form between the soldiers and friendships between the passengers, violence looms both on board and from the rapacious rebels. With the threat of battle pending, romance blossoms against the stunning backdrop of the African countryside. 

The film is a unique portrait of an African country during a period of protracted civil war as the former Portuguese colony transitioned away from four centuries of colonial rule to self-determination. Mozambique gained independence in 1975, becoming the People's Republic of Mozambique shortly thereafter. After only two years of independence, the country descended into an intense and protracted civil war lasting from 1977 to 1992. The film, set in the 1980's, captures the strains of political instability within a traditional African society fighting for its identity and survival. 


"Azevedo relies on universal themes of survival, dignity and honor to convey a powerful narrative of hope and regeneration. The train journey represents not only an attempt at achieving a better life for many of the passengers, but metaphorically it’s also a psychologically transformative experience."

Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter

"Feature-length fiction films have become a rare occurrence. This makes The Train of Salt and Sugar even more remarkable, in that it soars above the mediocrity of compromise that often plagues filmmaking in such a resource-starved environment, setting a new high water mark for contemporary Mozambican film."

Mail and Guardian

Subjects: Africana and African Studies, Peace/Conflict Studies/Migration Studies/Modern Languages (Portugese)

Institutional Licensing Options

DVD without PPR: $149

DVD with PPR: $349

DVD with Digital Site License: $449

DVD with Digital Site License + Public Performance Rights: $499

Institutional Licensing Options

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Additional Film Info:

Distributor: Juno Films
Director: Licinio Azevedo
Run time: 90 minutes
Genre: Narrative Drama
Type: Color
Year: 2016
Language: Portugese with English subtitles