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The East African : Sep 29th 2014
The EastAfrican MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 27 - OCTOBER 3, 2014 VII ty of civil wa≥ to To≥onto festival othe≥ movies at the festival The top prize went to Benedict Cumberbatch’s The Imitation Game. Learning to Drive, starring Sir Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson, was voted first runner-up Other movies worth mentioning are: An adaptation of The Theory of Everything, a biopic on the life of Stephen Hawking. Bill Murray’s St Vincent, Ben Stiller’s comic drama While We’re Young; Joshua Oppenheimer’s Act of Killing sequel; people and their optimistic souls despite their suffering, that encouraged me to endure all the difficulties and risks to bring out this message. “I spent six consecutive months in the war areas, experiencing the danger, lack of healthcare and food,” he points out. “Being familiar with the ordinary people there was also very important, it made my work easier, moving with camera and laptop in a very poor area,” he adds. Expressive Scenes In a spectacular scene in the film, the planes are shown flying overhead and dropping bombs. People are shown running everywhere to escape. In another scene, opposite of the first, young girls are seen giggling as they watch themselves on Kuka’s laptop. These girls were never going to be on national television, but now they are part of a film that will have a bigger audience the world over. Their story has been told. “The film is meant to arm its Su- sit arkovitz took more than two years make, as Kuka risked his life to the affected areas from 2012 nward. He spent significant time in ue Nile and Southern Kordofan to m the perspective of those affected y war as they navigate their daily ves through bombing raids, and affirm their cultural and physical istence through music, dance and orytelling. When Kuka arrived at the camps of e internally displaced persons, he ways found that he was the only one one of very few people who hailed om the capital Khartoum, and was et with many questions: “Why are eople from the capital not coming ere? Why is the only doctor in the ea an American and not a Sudaese? Where is the government in all this?” Kuka says he had all these uestions playing in his mind as he tempted to reflect ese ordinary people. the tragedy of Meeting him only a few days after s win on Toronto, he tells The EasAf rican that it was “the daring of the danese audience, who after watching it will want to fight for cultural and ethnic diversity, to listen to this music and hear these stories told in Khartoum,” journalist Reem Showkat further states. “The only anti-war attempts that will work should start from the capital and engage with the conflict areas and should only be focused on war; the most critical issue in Sudan today,” she adds. “Sudan eventually is going to be- come this great place, once we allow all these cultures to flourish and start celebrating them. And I really saw it in my film,” says Kuka. “The people in the film are the best promoters of Beats of the Antonov,” he adds. Who is Kuka? Visual art has always been in Kuka’s blood — from drawing and painting, photography and finally to film making. In all his artworks he tries to create an atmosphere of music, dialogue, lighting, settings and objects, allowing for characters to emerge — the core of his creation and artistic search, he says, adding that, “Through my documentary experience I noticed that everything is per- Others were: This is Where I Leave You Men, Women and Children Learning to Drive 99 Homes Alleulia The Good Lie - which sees Reese Witherspoon star as a Kansas City woman who takes four Sudanese refugees under her wing after they flee the conflict in their home country. sonal at the end. And when the character gets personal and self-absorbed, the camera disappears and an experience is communicated regardless of words or actions.” The aspirations of this young Su- danese creative will not stop at the Canadian festival; he wants to accomplish more. Beats of the Antonov is scheduled to be screened at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) in November. Kuka also confirms that the film will be screened in the US and that will qualify it to be entered for an Oscar award in the documentary films category. The only obstacle for the young Su- danese director to entering his work for an Oscar is if the Sudanese government does not allow Kuka’s film to represent Sudan. This is a pre-condition of the Oscar organisation committee. However, Kuka confidently tells The EastAfrican that if the Khartoum government attempts to ban his film from the international show, it will be proof to the world that the Omar AlBashir government wants to cover up something. “Even if that happens, we will bring the film to the Middle East countries and that will allow the public to know what happened in Sudan,” Kuka says. The documentary director, Hajooj Kuka. Picture: Courtesy When Kuka arrived at the camps of the internally displaced persons, he always found that he was the only one or one of very few people who hailed from the capital Khartoum, and was met with many questions: “Why are people from the capital not coming here? Why is the only doctor in the area an American and not a Sudanese? Where is the government in all of this?
Sep 22nd 2014
Oct 6th 2014