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Hubert Sauper, who garnered an Oscar nomination for 2005’s “Darwin’s Nightmare,” discussed the making of his latest documentary “We Come as Friends” as part of the International Documentary Association’s (IDA) screening series. The film, which won the Special Jury Prize for World Documentary at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, was released earlier this year.
The official synopsis for the powerful documentary reads: “‘We Come as Friends’ is a modern odyssey—a dizzying, almost science fiction-like journey into the heart of Africa. At the moment when Sudan, the continent’s largest country, is being divided into two nations, an old “civilizing” ideology re-emerges—one of colonialism and a clash of empires—with new episodes of bloody (and holy) wars over land and resources. Acclaimed documentarian Hubert Sauper takes us on a voyage in his tiny, self-made aircraft, leading us into the most improbable locations and into people’s thoughts and dreams in both stunning and heartbreaking ways. Chinese oil workers, UN peacekeepers, Sudanese warlords, and American evangelists ironically weave common ground in this singular documentary.”
Sauper sat down with The Guardian’s Nigel M. Smith last week to unpack the common thread in his films, what the job of the documentarian is and how he felt getting into that tiny, crappy plane. Check out all of the highlights from the IDA discussion.
How to Get Access to Unflattering Subjects
On the Documentarian’s Power of Visibility
On the Tiny Plane and Having Trouble With the Military
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