Beats of the Antonov

PBS Premiere: Aug. 3, 2015Check the broadcast schedule »

Film Update

In July 2015, POV asked Beats of the Antonov filmmaker hajooj kuka what's happened since the cameras stopped rolling.

Have you been back to the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile since completing the film? Has anything changed in Sudan changed since filming — either in the communities in the region in the larger political landscape?

I have been back to Nuba Mountains and will be going to Blue Nile in a week, then Nuba Mountain after that. The situation sadly has stagnated — there is a deadlock on the fighting between the Sudanese government and the rebels in Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains. This results in thousands of civilians living under the constant threat of bombardment and shelling. Currently things have quieted down because of Ramadan and the rainy season which lasts until November. The biggest threat is that until now the rains have been little, thus threatening a bad harvest which may lead to a crises. This should be followed closely by the world as famine has been the main killer of people during the endless Sudanese civil war.

In your filmmaker interview, you told POV that you hope the film will be used as an advocacy tool. Can you share some of your best experiences screening the film so far? What organizations and communities have you been most excited to show the film to?

A group of brave Sudanese activists led by a young lady have been conducting underground screenings of Beats of the Antonov, followed by discussions. All this is within Sudan, from the capital in Khartoum to the East, Darfur, and the extreme north. One of these screenings was in a village in the center of Sudan, and the whole village, 400 people, attended the screening.

On the global end, Beats has been to numerous festivals around the world and had sparked discussions on identity as a current global issue that requires us to find alternatives to the idea of a main national identity and create a new vocabulary to understand a diversity-driven society.

Can you give us an update on what Alsarah is working on with some of the music recording she captured during filming?

Alsarah is currently on a world tour with her band, the Nubatones. In Kenya, she is combining a screening of the film with a performance. She is still working on releasing the Beats double album which will feature the field recordings and a remix tape.