Are you going to the the African film festival “Augen Blicke Africa” in Hamburg. The dates are November 5th till November 15th, and venue is as always the Studio-Kino Hamburg (Bernstorffstrasse 93-95, Hamburg). Entry to all films will be max. 8 Euros. Click here to get to the exciting programme.
We caught up with Hajooj Kuka (Director and Writer) over email to discuss his powerful movie „BEATS OF THE ANTONOV”. The movie, which won People’s Choice Documentary Award at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, shows the daily lives of Sudanese communities finding hope through song and dance during civil war.
As humans we find ways to cling on to life and enjoy it more when we realize how un-promised life is.
Interview with Hajooj Kuka
Frolicious: This year the film festival “Augen Blicke Afrika” is going to screen your movie „Beats of the Antonov“. Are you excited? Unfortunately, you will not see how the audience will receive your work.
Hajooj Kuka: I wish I was able to be at the screening of “Beats of the Antonov” in Hamburg. I have never been to Germany and I am intrigued about how the Germany audience will receive my film. I would have loved to interact with he audience.
Frolicious: Please tell us about your movie. What is the story about?
Hajooj Kuka: Beats of the Antonov is a film set in North Sudan. It is a celebration of live under a civil war in Blue Nile and Nuba mountain areas in Sudan. Beats follow the amazing creative music of the area to reveal the story of war and the root cause of the none ending Sudanese wars which is the question of identity. The central government in Khartoum adopted an Islamic Arabic national identity that conflicts with the fact that most of the population come from a black African root. This question of identity reflects in many parts of the world.
Frolicious: In your documentary you focused on the Sudanese reality and on how people living despite the war. How did the idea come up?
Hajooj Kuka: The idea of film was inspired by the music being played by the Sudanese refugees. I was taken back by how alive and full of dancing and culture the refugee camps are. This broken the single narrative of the victimizes refugees and was the starting point of my film.
Watch Trailer: Beats of the Antonov
Frolicious: You spent almost 2 years in a refugee camp and noticed that the people are happier as we tend to think. Where does this happiness come from although the people are living in country where have been war for over 50 years?
Hajooj Kuka: I filmed for 2 years in refugee camps, among internally displaced people and in war zones of Sudan. The level of celebration of life seemed intensified in some of these areas. It stems from people digging deep to borrow from their culture the things that makes them happy. As humans we find ways to cling on to life and enjoy it more when we realize how un-promised life is.
Frolicious: Why did you to this documentary instead of a romantic film?
Hajooj Kuka: Beats of the Antonov needed to be real cause it is one of those unbelievable stories. If I told you folks in a refugee camp in Africa’s longest ongoing civil war are happier than you are you would have dismissed me for a dreamer at best. That said my next film is a romantic comedy of a sort set and shot in Sudanese war zone with actors who are currently experiencing the war.
Frolicious: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hajooj Kuka: It is hard to see 5 years from now. I am currently concentrating on creating a few films that are on my mind. I have my romantic comedy another narrative and a documentary/ installation art piece on the works. I hope all those will be done in the next 3 years. Then I can take two years to reflect and work on becoming a better artist/ filmmaker.
Frolicious: What are your next projects?
Hajooj Kuka: More films are visual art. Hopefully I will get to create an animated feature film one day.
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/beatsofantonov
AUGEN BLICKE AFRIKA film series
5th to 15th November 2015 in Hamburg (Germany)