The opening scenes of Hajooj Kuka’s film, Beats of the Antonov, are as surreal as they are uplifting. As families scramble for cover against the government’s Antonov bomber planes, which continue their reign of terror on the people of the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains in southern Sudan, the unlikely sound of giggling cuts through the drone and crackle of destruction.

“The laughter is always there,” says the documentary’s narrator. “People laugh despite the catastrophe as they realise they are not hurt.”

For Hajooj Kuka, a Sudanese video journalist and filmmaker who divides his time between Kenya and the Nuba Mountains, it was important to show the world that music, dancing and even laughter can still exist in such challenging circumstances.

With access to these remote area severely restricted, Nuba Reports – a media organisation based in the region – is one of the few able gather footage and data on the bombings. It says that in the first half of 2014, nearly 300 bombs were dropped on the Blue Nile region alone by Islamist President Omar al-Bashir’s forces – more than double the number dropped in the previous six months of the three-year campaign against the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N) in the predominantly Christian and Animist regions. Tens of thousands of people are believed to have fled to refugee camps in South Sudan and Ethiopia, escaping the conflict and the threat of starvation.

Read the Full Article: Source – The Guardian

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