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

Sunday, 6 November 2011



My Heart of Darkness screening 8-11-11 at the Utorak


From the 4th to the 9th of November at Belgrade Cultural Center and Dom Omladine

The 7th edition of FREE ZONE festival will take place from the 4th to the 9th of November at Belgrade Cultural Center and Dom Omladine.This year‘s edition is presented by the authors who, through their personal example and their films, deeply commit faith in man and the ability to change, regardless of historical circumstances and personal limitations, religious and social dogmas and pressures.At the opening night of the festival on the 4th of November, at Belgrade Cultural Center we will present “This is not a film“ by Jafar Panahi, famous and award-wining director from Iran.This movie, smuggled form Iran on a USB stick hidden in a cake, represents a great statement of the Iranian director as a response to the circumstances of the house arrest when he finds out that Teheran court has upheld a six-year jail sentence and 20-year filmmaking, freedom of movement and media exposure ban against him.During six festival days, Belgrade audience will be able to see around 40 films that deal with and explore social and political events from all around the world. The program also displays a selection of films from contemporary Swedish engaged documentary production, and the work of graduates of one of the world’s most prestigious film schools - the National Film School of London. The audience will also have a unique opportunity to watch a number of films that explore the position of women in the modern world or the films directed by women.The visual identity of the festival was developed in collaboration with young forces, high school students from Serbia who gave us a new perspective on the topic of TOMORROW.  This is exactly the reason why the festival is presenting a line of films that are selected by high school students in view of their representation of perspectives and attitudes.As every year, the audience award for the best film of the festival will be given through purchasing rights for TV broadcasting, and for the third time we will also give the award for the audience – for the best film review of this year‘s Free Zone. The prize is a laptop.The festival warm up will start on the 28th of October at Cultural Center REX at 8PM with a concert of Boris Kovač (Serbia) and David Yengibarjan (Armenia). FREE ZONE audience that is constantly seeking new challenges will have the chance to listen to these two musicians who are ready to cooperate with others and to experiment with new expressions. Their music is characterized by specific expressions that combine classical, jazz and chamber music, improvisation and elements of rich national traditions.Tickets for the festival will be on sale from the October 28th at the ticket office of Belgrade Cultural Center and Dom Omladine. Individual tickets will cost 200RSD, while the revival screenings tickets will cost 150 dinars.Take your seat in the FREE ZONE! TODAY!

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