African Odysseys, in conjunction with Refugee Week, present: Beats of the Antonov
Beats of the Antonov is a documentary film following the displaced existences of the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountain communities along the border of North and South Sudan. Directed by Hajooj Kuka (who was born in Sudan), the film sets out to explore the issues of identity that lie at the heart of the Sudanese civil war. A beautiful and subtle film, this follows the lives of the displaced communities of the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains. Despite the people suffering aerial bombardment it’s not unusual to hear laughter and music ring out in the aftermath. Kuka’s documentary celebrates defiance and the human spirit, and shows how music, song and dance provide a powerful means of safeguarding a community’s collective memory.
Winner of the 2014 People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, Beats of the Antonov explores the resilience of a community in the face of cultural oppression, through music and dance.
Instead of focusing solely on the Sudanese conflict, Kuka chooses to spotlight the vibrant cultural traditions of the Nuba population and the ways in which these are recreated in refugee camps. Scenes of music-making are interspersed with interviews and observational shots to provide a personal representation of the reality on the ground.
Beats of the Antonov is a short but optimistic film that throws up more questions than answers, bringing much-needed attention to the on-going conflict in Sudan, whilst also demonstrating the important role of music in maintaining hope and identity.
The screening is a collaboration between Counterpoints Arts and BFI, in conjunction with Refugee Week and African Odysseys – a programme of films by and about the people of Africa.
This screening will be followed by a Skype interview with director Hajooj Kuka. Following the Q&A, there will be screening of an additional short film to mark Refugee Week:
Suggested hashtag for this event: #RefugeeWeek #RefugeeWelcome