Slaves - An Animated Documentary

  • Hanna Heilborn, David Aronowitsch
  • Sweden, Norway, Denmark
  • 2008
  • 15 min
  • International Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Short Documentary
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The conversations with two freed children from southern Sudan, who were kidnapped by a government-supported militia and forced into slavery, were recorded on audio in a documentary fashion. The filmmakers stress this fact by keeping the sound of them adjusting the recording equipment before the conversation begins, by not editing out the children's interpreter, and by not adding any music. The conversations took place in 2003, when the 20-year-long civil war in southern Sudan was drawing to a close. The last names of the two children, aged 9 and 15, have been bleeped out to protect their privacy. In this manner, the three-dimensional, stylistically simplified computer animation, with realistic depth of field and lighting, is a safeguard for their identity. Furthermore, the choice for animation offers the possibility to represent the horrific experiences the children describe. In these scenes, we hear them in voice-over as the almost black-and-white images turn into bright colours: flaming red when the village is set ablaze and the children, confronted with the murder and molestation of their families, are taken off by the militia. And a shadowy and almost abstract series of images full of colours as one of them tells of a dream about his parents.


  • 15 min
  • color
  • 35mm
  • Spoken languages: English, Dinka
Hanna Heilborn, David Aronowitsch
David Aronowitsch for Story AB, Hanna Heilborn for Story AB
Medieoperatorene, Pausefilm ApS
Mats Johansson, Magnus Östergren
Anders Nyström, Peter Albrecthsen
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IDFA history

International Premiere
IDFA Competition for Short Documentary

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IDFA history