Cahier Africain

Cahier Africain

Documentary Film
119 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

PS Film GmbH, Filmpunkt GmbH
Heidi Specogna
Peter Scherer
Johann Feindt
Kaya Inan
Heidi Specogna
Karsten Höfer, Thomas Lüdemann, Florian Hoffmann, Andreas Turnwald
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

Silver Dove International Competition 2016, Prize of the Interreligious Jury 2016;
Nominated for Goethe-Institute Documentary Film Prize 2016