Astounded by the vibrant music and dance he encountered working in refugee camps in south Sudan, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka captures an abundance of fiercely articulated cultural identity in this inspiring documentary.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2015
“Crafted from extended time in refugee camps in the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains areas of South Sudan, Beats of the Antonov features the extraordinary music that is made in the region by any means necessary. North Sudan’s racist war against Southern ethnic groups has displaced 1.5 million people now living for over two years in fear of the regular bombing from the Ukranian-made Antonov planes. The heart-stopping sequences in the midst of the attacks are contrasted with the communities coming together to celebrate life. Sudanese director Hajooj Kuka’s film treats his subjects not as refugees but as people, allowing them a humanity rarely afforded in outsider-crafted docs.” — Seattle International Film Festival
“There’s so much going on in this film. Bombs drop from hovering planes, a musician fashions a rebab from scrap metal, resistance armies assemble and arm, an ethnomusicologist captures and categorizes sounds and melodies, languages are forgotten. All these elements are woven together deftly in this beautiful portrait of a region with a deeply fractured identity. Great interviews, great music, and an impressive diversity of perspectives.” — Kishanu Ray, The Stranger