Closed District

Pierre Yves Vanderweerd. 2005. Sudan, Belgium. vo French. s Spanish. 55’

In 1996, I was staying in the village of Mankien in South Sudan to film the war which was taking place. At the time, I thought that making a film about an area struggling with such a severe conflict would almost have to be an act of duty. Once there, the reality appeared completely different from what I initially imagined it would be. The war that was all around me was not only a struggle between an oppressive government and a downtrodden minority but a latent conflict driven by power and economic interests. Back in Belgium, I felt overwhelmed by a strong feeling of helplessness and disillusionment to the point of never showing these images, up to now. A short while ago, I was told that the village of Mankien had been subjected to a massacre orchestrated by the Khartoum government with more than the slight complicity of Western oil companies.