“Beats of the Antonov” in the London Human Rights Film Festival

“Beats of the Antonov” in the London Human Rights Film Festival

Human Rights Watch, one of the globe’s leading independent organizations dedicated to protecting Human Rights, has been regularly screening more than 500 films and videos every year to encourage filmmakers around the world to address and incorporate the subject matter in their work. In selecting films for the festival, Human Rights Watch concentrates equally on artistic merit and human rights content.

Once a film is nominated for a place in the program, staff of the relevant division of Human Rights Watch also view the work to confirm its accuracy in the portrayal of human rights concerns. Though the festival rules out films that contain unacceptable inaccuracies of fact, we do not bar any films on the basis of a particular point of view.

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Hajooj Kuka’s Beats of the Antonov

Winner of the People’s Choice Award at Toronto International Film Festival, Beats of The Antonov is a celebration of defiant cultural expression and a unique perspective on the complex realities of a divided Sudan.

The theme is basically the resilience of oppressed communities who are holding on to their culture. For the past two years, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka thrived along with herders, farmers and rebels who are displaced to the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountain areas, filming their lives within hide-outs and basecamps.

The film focuses on the vibrant arts and musical heritage of the region and how they face every day conflict. After a raid, it is not unusual to hear the sound of laughter and music indicating that a strike is over. Young women exert a powerful agency through ‘Girls Music’, and improvised compositions become a wry commentary on the daily injustices of war.

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The revolution in Sudan is almost like a Backwards Revolution. The people on the fringes are bringing the change to the people in the centre, the so called intellectuals. Maybe Sudan is setting a new precedent, showing the world how people’s determination to be united, to have a common identity, is more powerful than any force that seeks to destroy it” says Hajooj Kuka.

In June 2011, weeks before South Sudan gained independence from Sudan, a new war broke out in Sudan’s Southern Kordofan state and quickly spread to Blue Nile. This protracted conflict, already in its fourth year, has had dire consequences for the civilian populations in both states.

The on-going fighting, attacks on villages, and Sudan’s indiscriminate aerial bombing in the rebel-held areas have killed and maimed men, women, and children, destroyed schools and clinics, burned fields and crops, and forced hundreds of thousands to flee their land. Sudan has refused access to international aid groups to government and rebel-held areas, where communities lack basic services and protection from the fighting.

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If you would like to watch Beats of the Antonov, its screening schedule and venue is at 6:45 PM / Ritzy Brixton on March 21, 2015. For all your filming needs, please do not hesitate to call us at 020 7391 2650. We are excited to hear from you.

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