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4.3
293 Ratings

We Come as Friends

Directed by Hubert Sauper
France, Austria, 2014
Documentary

Synopsis

A modern odyssey, a science fiction–like journey in a tiny homemade flying machine into the heart of Africa. At the moment when the Sudan, the continent’s biggest country, is being divided into 2 nations, an old “civilizing” pathology re-emerges – that of colonialism and the clash of empires.

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We Come as Friends Directed by Hubert Sauper

Awards & Festivals

Berlin International Film Festival

2014 | Winner: Peace Film Award

Sundance Film Festival

2014 | Winner: World Cinema - Documentary (Special Jury Prize)

CPH-DOX

2014

Early on, Sauper shows a railroad cutting across the land while, in voiceover, speaking of the arbitrary borderlines laid down by Victorian colonialists. The camera catches a sun flare that bisects this line at a diagonal angle – an elegant metaphor for creating a new political/historical geography to counter the ones imposed on a still subjugated country.
February 05, 2016
[It] takes pains to portray the arbitrary borderlines and namesakes handed down from previous generations of colonizers, simultaneously acknowledging and deconstructing the privilege of its own undeniably Western perspective. By the film’s end, having borne witness is begets a kind of survivor’s guilt unto itself – and while this approach sometimes runs the risk of tendentiousness or gotcha-journalism, it also represents one of the year’s most intrepid acts of documentary expression.
January 14, 2016
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Hubert Sauper (Darwin’s Nightmare) shot this documentary over six years, in the period leading up to the separation of Sudan into two separate states and then for a few years afterward. However, the action always feels as if it’s unfolding in present tense, the avant-garde score and disorienting extreme close-ups conveying a sense of nervous, spontaneous energy.
August 26, 2015
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