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Title page from “100 Frames: Beats of the Antonov

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ESOPUS 24 (Spring 2017)
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100 Frames: Beats of the Antonov

Introduction by Dylan Valley

“Instead of a dry, journalistic account of the ongoing Sudanese conflict, whose roots are in the events of June 1989, when Omar al-Bashir led a military coup and declared himself president, this film is a deep exploration of a nation in an identity crisis, with its ruling elite pushing an Arab nationalist identity onto a diverse African citizenry. The title of the film makes a connection between the bombs of oppression and the resilience of culture, the music of a people and the suffering they endure.”—Dylan Valley

For this latest installment of our “100 Frames“ series, we present stills from Sudanese filmmaker hajooj kuka’s 2015 documentary Beats of the Antonov, a vibrant, unforgettable celebration of creativity and resistance in the face of unimaginable conflict.

Born in 1976 in Sudan and raised in the United Arab Emirates, hajooj kuka studied electrical engineering at American University of Beirut and digital design at San Jose State University. His documentary Beats of the Antonov won the People’s Choice Award at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, was featured on PBS’s “POV” series, and has screened at more than 60 international film festivals. Kuka, who trains and works with young filmmakers across Sudan, was named by Foreign Policy magazine as a Leading Global Thinker in 2014. His other films include the 2012 documentary Darfur Skeleton (as Hisham Haj Omar) and the forthcoming Live from Mogadishu, which is currently in production. 

Born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, Dylan Valley has directed several documentaries for Al Jazeera, and he released his award-winning feature film Afrikaaps in 2012. Valley is currently based in Johannesburg, where he is an associate lecturer in film at the University of the Witwatersrand.