Juno Films is pleased to be the distributor of two contemporary African films: Train of Salt & Sugar, which won Best Film at Jo'burg Film Festival and is now Mozambique's first ever Oscar entry, and Cahier Africain, the multi-award winning documentary that chronicles what Congolese mercenaries did to the female population between October 2002 and March 2003 in the wake of armed conflict.
Set in northern Mozambique in the 1980s, a train under military guard must transport its passengers and goods 500 miles through guerrilla-held territory during the Mozambique civil war. As rivalries form between the soldiers and friendships between the passengers, violence looms both on board and from the rapacious rebels who view the civilians as easy prey. With the threat of battle pending, romance blossoms against the stunning backdrop of the African countryside.
The film is a unique portrait of an African country during a period of protracted civil war as the former Portuguese colony transitioned away from four centuries of colonial rule to self-determination. Mozambique gained independence in 1975, becoming the People's Republic of Mozambique shortly thereafter. After only two years of independence, the country descended into an intense and protracted civil war lasting from 1977 to 1992. The film, set in the 1980's, captures the strains of political instability within a traditional African society fighting for its identity and survival.
Subjects: Africana and African Studies, Peace/Conflict Studies/Migration Studies/Modern Languages (Portuguese)
Director: Licinio Azevedo
Run time: 90 minutes
Genre: Narrative Drama
Language: Portugese with English subtitles
It all started with a small school exercise book. But instead of being full of vocabulary, the pages were checkered with the courageous testimonies of 300 Central African women, girls and men. They reveal what Congolese mercenaries did to them between October 2002 and March 2003 in the wake of armed conflict. On their own initiative, they gathered together their testimonies in this book to record the crimes committed against them.
As a result of rape, Amzine, a young Muslim woman, gave birth to a child. Looking at her now 12-year-old daughter Fane is a daily reminder of the suffering she entrusted to this book. Arlette, a Christian girl, has agonized for years due to a gunshot to the knee that did not want to heal. After a successful surgery in Berlin, she holds on to hope for a pain-free existence.
Cahier Africain is a long-term observation that begins accompanying its protagonists in the village of PK 12 in 2008. But while they try to master their difficult daily lives with confidence – and while, in The Hague, the legal prosecution of crimes committed during the last war is still in progress – the next war breaks out in the Central African Republic. Amzine, Fane and Arlette must once again face a maelstrom of violence, death and expulsion. At their side, the film bears witness to the collapse of order and civilization in a country torn apart by civil war and coup d’états.
Director/Writer: Heidi Specogna
Length: 119 mins.
Language:French/Arabic/Sango with English, French and German subtitles
Subjects: Africana and African Studies, Women's Studies, Human Rights/Social Justice, Area Studies, International Affairs, Public Policy, Social Work, Peace/Conflict Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, Counseling
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