At the Human Rights Watch Film Festival on Saturday 21 March, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka’s award-winning documentary ‘Beats of the Antonov’ will receive its UK premiere in association with the Aegis Trust, Film Africa and Waging Peace.


For two years, Kuka lived alongside displaced farmers, herders, and rebels in the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountain regions of Sudan, where a war characterised by a Government bombing campaign against civilians has raged since the moment of South Sudan’s independence in 2011. 


However, 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 signalling 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. 


Winner of the People’s Choice Award at Toronto International Film Festival, Beats of The Antonov is a celebration of defiant cultural expression and a unique perspective on the complex realities of a divided Sudan.


The UK premiere of ‘Beats of the Antonov’ will take place at 6.45pm on Saturday 21 March at the Ritzy in Brixton, followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Hajooj Kuka. It will be screened again on Sunday 22 March, 6.30pm at the Barbican. 

You can buy tickets for the screenings here: 


The Sudanese Government’s assault on civilians in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile State has been documented in three short films over the past three years by the Aegis Trust’s Special Representative on Crimes Against Humanity, Dr Mukesh Kapila, who as head of the UN in Sudan brought the Darfur crisis to global media attention in 2004. All available on Aegis’ Youtube channel, you can see the most recent of these films here: