Hajooj Kuka

Hajooj Kuka

Is the winner of the people’s choice award for a documentary at the toronto film festival. hajooj kuka carried video equipment to the war-ravaged nuba mountains and the blue nile state of his native sudan, a country that has suffered africa’s longest civil war. it was october of 2012. two years later, the documentary film he shot was one of 392 films screened at the toronto international film festival. over last weekend, his film was votedthe people’s choice award for a documentary. before he started the project kuka wanted to shoot a powerful documentary about the trials of the women, men and children who had suffered hunger and escaped certain death during yet another war on the southern border of his country. when he finished filming, he found that he had recorded a very different story about how the people of southern kordufan – despite the aerial bombing by the government in khartoum – can sing and dance their way out of these desperate times. a pleasantly surprised kuka later said, “sudan eventually is going to become this great place, once we allow all these cultures to flourish and start celebrating them. and i really saw it in my film.” the sudanese filmmaker named his film “beats of the antonov” as a play on words inspired by the sound of the russian-made cargo planes that the sudanese government uses to bomb villages in the nuba mountains and blue nile state. tens of thousands of civilians have been killed or displaced by a three-year war between rebels and the government.

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