The Beats of Antonov over the River Cam

Happy New Year!

Venue: St. Johns College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, Cambrigeshire, England.  

Snapshots from the Film

A mild night over the river Cam was made warm by Cambridge African Film Festival (CAFF). When African movies are mentioned, Sudanese films are not in contention or the most popular; not because of lack of quality, but rather poor investment, absence of infrastructure and extreme censorship over the last thirty years, all of the aforementioned reasons have hindered the production, in once a thriving industry pioneered by the later formidable cinematographer Jadallah Jubara. Almost all of the films by Sudanese movie makers are results of individual efforts and external fundings. Raising fund for a film project is not an impossible task, however, the lack of openness and close censorship by the various governmental bodies, especially when it comes to gaining permission to shoot a film makes it a task impossible; It takes the ad out of adventure! Any form of work which highlight issues such poverty, child abuse, human rights, women oppressions etc… ought to be received with objection and a possible imprisonment. 



The City of Cambridge/ CAFF

A captivating Sudanese film was featured in the CAFF 2015. It was shot in two areas in the Sudan, which are under the full control of the Sudan People Liberation Army – North, a rebel group. The film crew was given the green light to work in parts of Sudan where the people are suffering from a notorious war waged upon them by the government over the last few years. 


Beats of The Antonov

The film follows the invisible tangent between sadness and happiness while raising questions about the identity of certain individuals/ communities in the Sudan. It does reflect on the legacy of continuous war while touching on the issue of race and its direct relation to skin complexion in the Sudan, and in particular the conundrum of the center (elites) vs. everyone else (marginalised people).

The film also talks about the legitimate right of people to defend themselves by all means.

                           Survival in War Tormented Regions of Sudan

All of the aforementioned is dealt with by going back and forth between the sorrow of death/ destruction and the delight of existence of one among his/her family and loved ones. Culture and music are the pillars of the documentary, and that’s where the people of the two regions (Nuba mountains and Blue Nile State) gain their strength.

I strongly recommend it to you and to your mates.


The film was directed by Hajooj Kuka (picturedabove), starring Sudanese refugees and IDPs, and it features Sudanese artist Alsarah.