Beats of the Antonov

Saturday, June 13

Q&A with filmmaker! New York premiere

Over two years, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka lived alongside farmers, herders, and rebels displaced to the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountain regions, filming their lives within hillside hideouts and refugee camps. Destructive air raids are but occasional moments in an unexpected film, which instead focuses on the vibrant musical heritage of the region: a pulsing lifeblood of cultural resilience in the face of everyday conflict. After a raid, it is not unusual to hear the sound of laughter and music signaling 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. BEATS OF THE ANTONOV is a celebration of defiant cultural expression and a unique perspective on the complex realities of a divided Sudan. Winner People’s Choice Award, Toronto International Film Festival 2014

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.

  • Country Sudan/South Africa
  • Language In Arabic with English subtitles
  • Rating NR
  • Running Time 68 minutes
  • Director Hajooj Kuka