DOK LEIPZIG 31 OCTOBER – 6 NOVEMBER 2016
59TH INTERNATIONAL LEIPZIG FESTIVAL FOR DOCUMENTARY AND ANIMATED FILM
DOK Leipzig Film Festival

Cahier Africain


Cahier Africain


CATALOGUE TEXT
A film carried by the sad beauty of its images and the deep personal empathy the director feels with her protagonists’ fates. During a research trip to the Central African Republic Heidi Specogna comes across an exercise book. Its contents: photos and statements of 300 women who were raped by Congolese rebels in 2002 – a homemade piece of evidence that forms the starting point of this seven year observation.

In a spectacular operation the book, now the centre of the film, finds its way to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The women’s paths are different. Specogna follows Amzine, a young Muslim, and her 12-year-old daughter Fane, and Arlette, a Christian girl whose knee was shot to pieces by the rebels. The originally planned project to follow the woman on their difficult path back to a kind of normal life is changed when Islamic and Christian militias reappear out of thin air across the country, looting and killing. Once more Amzine, Fane and Arlette, who had just worked their way towards a bit of stability and safety, are forced to flee. As a viewer one must be prepared for this film which offers no comfort, only the women’s incredible will to survive in the face of the fragility of their existence.

Matthias Heeder


Nominated for Goethe-Institute Documentary Film Prize

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The annotation to the Official Selection films were written by the members of the Selection Committee. All quotes from DOK Leipzig 2016 catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author's name. All articles where no author’s name is given are production notes.