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DVD / video DVD / video Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Nuba conversations
Editor:Howes, ArthurISNI
Series:Library of African cinema
City:San Francisco, CA
Publisher:California Newsreel
Geographic terms:Sudan
South Sudan
civil wars
videos (form)
documentary films (form)
Abstract:Ten years after shooting 'Kafi's Story' British filmmaker Arthur Howes reentered the Sudan clandestinely to find out what had happened to the Nuba of Torogi. Everywhere he encountered the face of jihad or holy war. For example, a remarkable television programme Fields of Sacrifice celebrates that week's casualities in the war against the Nuba and features family members thanking Allah for having taken their sons and brothers as martyrs. The fundamentalist Sudanese regime is pursuing its policy of forced Arabization through a systematic disruption of the Nuba family, the key agency of cultural transmission. Howes hears from Nuba refugees in Khartoum how soldiers of the Islamic National Front killed their cattle for food, seized their land for profitable mechanized agriculture and burnt their villages. 60,000 Nuba children have been abducted to 'Peace Camps' where they are forcibly converted to Islam and, some as young as 12, make unquestioning recruits for the Sudanese army. Howes estimates that 40 percent of the Sudanese army is now composed of Nuba men. He interviews one despondent soldier who admits that he is probably fighting on the wrong side against his brothers but there is no other work for displaced Nuba. Although originally neutral in the war between North and South, between Islam and Christianity, many other Nuba have been driven into the rebel ranks of the SPLA (Sudanese People's Liberation Army). Howes makes his way to the mountains where he finds the Nuba women living in caves and foraging for food among landmines and marauding Sudanese soldiers. He then visits a refugee camp in Kenya where an elder deplores the disruption in Nuba culture which, he feels, is producing an idle, dissolute generation of young people. At the camp, Howes is finally able to show 'Kafi's Story' to a Nuba audience captivated to see their former way of life preserved on video. It is ironic that a film designed to show Nuba life to the rest of the world has, after just ten years, become a way of showing the Nuba to themselves.