A film that I’ve been really wanting to see, but it hasn’t reached my city, although, it really hasn’t screened much at all in the USA, with very little film festival exposure globally.
I’m sure I’ll get my hands on a screener at some point.
In the meantime, here’s the trailer for “Children’s Republic” (“La république des enfants” or “Republica di Mininus”) by Bissau-Guinean filmmaker Flora Gomes, a futuristic tale of a city in an unnamed West African county, after a horrific and tragic civil war that leaves only the children. They organize and form what becomes a stable and prosperous nation. But, strangely, the children, for some reason, don’t age. Conflict arises when child soldiers from the outside enter this unusual community of children.
And although it’s a bit noisy and unfocused (the trailer), I’m even more interested in seeing the film in full after watching it. There’s enough meat in it, plus I’m already aware of the filmmaker’s past work. Also the synopsis has my attention – especially in light of Stateside interest in adventure/fantasy/drama series centered around communities of young adults, like “The Hunger Games” franchise, to start.
It’s been suggested by some that the film is an allegory on the possibility of African youth taking over the hope of building democracy on the African continent without forgetting its past.
There’s a website set up for the film but it’s all in French. I used Google to translate, and what I type here is what I could piece together. Also the site doesn’t seem to have been updated in a long time.
The film, which is set in Guinea-Bissau, in West Africa, was produced with funds from the European Union, and it’s categorized as a fantasy film.
Danny Glover co-stars, along with Melanie Vales Rafael, and Hedviges Mamudo.
Director Flora Gomes (who’s from Guinea-Bissau) studied film at the ICAIC in Cuba. His directing resume includes films like “Mortu Nega” (1987), which screened the next year at the Venice International Film Festival. After That, he directed “The Blue Eyes of Yonta” (1992) and “Po di Sangui,” which screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 1996.
There isn’t much of what I’d call a thriving filmmaking community/industry in Guinea-Bissau, with Gomes likely being the country’s most prominent filmmaker.
“Children’s Republic” is his 7th full-length film.
It did screen at the Pan African Film Festival in February of this year. But no signs of any other screenings since then.
Without further ado, here’s the trailer for “Children’s Republic” (full poster underneath):