Beats of the Antonov

  • Hajooj Kuka
  • Sudan, South Africa
  • 2014
  • 68 min
  • Spotlight: Sudan
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Sudan has been in an almost constant state of civil war since independence. People living in the southern border regions know and fear the sound of the Antonov planes, used by Omar al-Bashir’s government to randomly bombard villages. Traditionally music has always been part of the fabric of daily life in these areas, but it gains a new and vital significance in this time of war.

The rababa (a stringed instrument) and percussion instruments, all made from a range of reused materials, are at the center of spontaneous musical sessions that get whole villages to join in the dancing and singing. Musicologist Sarah Mohamed, who claims to find the “real” Sudan here, explains: “The nature of the music allows everyone to write lyrics, to sing, to drum. You can use a bucket. Not a problem.”

It keeps the people alive, both in body and in spirit: making music together, young people stay up throughout the night, so they can warn the village in case a plane is approaching. With this ode to Sudan’s musical tradition, Beats of the Antonov offers a new perspective on national identity and the Sudanese conflict.


Beats of the Antonov (Beats of the Antonov + Doc Talk hosted by Movies that Matter)
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Afterwards, Margje de Koning (Movies that Matter) will have a conversation with the director.

Thu 21 November - 17:30 - 19:13
De Balie - Grote Zaal

Beats of the Antonov
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Tickets are available through Bijlmerparktheater:

Fri 22 November - 21:30 - 23:03
Bijlmer Parktheater


  • 68 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Arabic
  • Subtitles in: English
Hajooj Kuka
Steven Markovitz / Big World Cinema, Hajooj Kuka for Refugee Club
Hajooj Kuka
Hajooj Kuka, Khalid Shamis
Hajooj Kuka
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IDFA history

Spotlight: Sudan
Supported with €17500 for Classic: Production & postproduction

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IDFA history