MY HEART OF DARKNESS by Eden Film & Gebrueder Beetz productions

Four war-veterans, former enemies journey back to past battlefields deep within the African interior in search of reconciliation, forgiveness and … atonement?

Directors Staffan Julén and Marius van Niekerk

“There are two kinds of men, those who dream of war and those who have nightmares of war” Marius van Niekerk

The characters in our film, MY HEART OF DARKNESS, are men who have nightmares of war. Forcefully recruited into the military at an early age, often to fight against their own countrymen. Four men, four stories entwined, four fucked-up lives. Always ready to crack, to strike out even against those they love? Why do they snap awake in the middle of the night, running, sweating, pursued, terrified?

MY HEART OF DARKNESS, a journey of reconciliation into the dark African jungle, into a psyche so tainted with years of colonisation, religious brainwash, superstition and witchcraft, where history seems unnoticed, mistakes repeated over and over again, where lies are true until discovered, where life’s worth as much as a bullet, a journey that took us into the darkest of our own souls.

It is undeniably a story that becomes frightening and cruel the farther we churned up that river. Nevertheless, deep down there is a flicker of hope, of human hope that tells of a will to change and the painful insight that shows the contrast of cruelty and selfishness… to dare to love your enemy.

As story infinite and universal, that all can relate to, even if you haven’t been in a war yourself. As more young boys return from Afghanistan to peaceful Sweden wrapped up in body bags, one often wanders what it take to quench the warmonger’s of this world’s thirst for blood, how many bodies will it take to still their hunger for death and destruction… and what will it take to cleanse all that?

During the nearly four years of working on the film, following the veterans journey up the river, closer and closer to their own hearts of darkness, we too had to delve deeper and deeper into our very own souls, our owns doubts but we had to go there to fully understand this process, to participate in that final blood cleansing ceremony. It was inspiring to watch our characters change and transform from former enemies to friends, and made us realise that veterans the world over, have many similarities and much to share and learn from each other. Deep down there the roots are at work, very often, with no one to encourage them.

They are true role models, risking proving to themselves and also to us, that reconciliation is possible and that war is fucked up, and that most people just want to live a peaceful life.

Stockholm 05 November 2010

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Post Premier & Special Screening of My Heart of Darkness

We had a very successful premier last Friday, full house and very interesting Q&A.  Thanks to all those that came and participated. The mingle afterwards at Snickarbacke 7 was delightful and the Graham Beck bubbly sponsored by Anna Wig at the Prime wine group, super. A very up-beat gallery just around the corner from Bio Zita with very friendly owners. To be recommended. Attended by representatives from the local Souther African associations and embassies. Unfortunately did Mario & Patrick, my companions in the film not get their Visas in time to attend the event thanks to the Schengen Agreement's very restricted rules. We are working on screenings in Angola, Namibia & South Africa this year at film festival and hopefully on TV. We also plan to drive out to villages in the bush with a mobile screening unit. Film team present were directors Marius & Staffan (aslo producer), DoP Peter Östlund,  Music Composer Jan Anderson. 

The Special Screening Saturday well moderated by Micke Ohlsson (SR P1 Konflikt) with representatives from the Angolan, Namibian and South African Associations in Sweden and the directors, me and Staffan on the panel after the screening turned out to be a historical and moving event. The first time in Sweden for the three associations to share a stage of reconciliation.  Paulo Lara and Tony Nguxi flew in from Angola. Amongst the audience were singer Jennifer Ferguson, Mona Salin, Berit & Sten Rylander, Angolan Embassy Manuel Carvajal and many more. A very promising first step for reconciliatory collaboration. Warm thanks to Buca Boavida, Cultural Attaché at the Angolan Embassy in Stockholm for his help and support in arranging this venue.

No comments:

Post a Comment