Beats of the Antonov 2014

Hajooj Kuka / Sudan/South Africa 2014 / 1h5m / Arabic with English subtitles / Documentary

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Beats of the Antonov


A music movement is at the core of this engaging and unsettling documentary from war reporter Hajooj Kuka. Telling the story of the Sudanese populations of the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountain regions this concentrated documentary feature reveals, and revels in, the cultural production and societal organisation of these people. The film is structured around the daily bombing runs carried out by the Sudanese government in Khartoum. The bombing runs utilise Russian Antonov cargo-carriers to try to blast these ‘rebels’ out of existence. However, such tactics have only further reinforced a determination to preserve a specifically African culture that is viewed as under threat. Sarah Mohamed, an ethnomusicologist, features prominently as a guide to the various music forms that have sprung up around the impromptu celebrations staged after each bombing run. These are celebrations of life as much as culture.

Introduction from the TANO network 
‘There’s so much hope that you would not expect people to have’. Filmmaker and activist Hajooj Kuka reminds us of the value of culture in conflict and inspires us to hang on to hope - and art. Beats of the Antonov is a brave and telling documentary. Kuka films in the hideouts and refugee camps where Sudanese villagers have fled, yet are still bombed by a government intent on eliminating rebel forces. Despite this, people respond with singing, dancing, laughter and marvelous music from the root of their culture. Through his journey we realise the Sudanese conflict stems from a war on identity. 

Hajooj Kuka was wrongfully sentenced to two month’s imprisonment in Khartoum on 17 September, along with four other fellow artists. The TANO network strongly condemns the jailing of these five Sudanese artists and calls for their immediate and unconditional release. To view the full public statement we put out, please see here

This film will be available to view here for 48 hours from the listed date. It is free to watch but donations are welcomed. 

Past Showings

Friday 9th October 2020 / 7pm for 48 hours / Online