When it comes to diving into a culture or event, there’s nothing like watching documentaries. And when it comes to Sudan, today’s documentary filmmakers are taking us on extraordinary visual journeys that encapsulate years of history and provide a deeper understanding of the country’s complex political situation. From stories of civil war and displacement to tales of resilience and hope, these films offer unique insight into the rich culture and history of Sudan. Here are some of the best documentaries about Sudan that are worth watching.
1. South Sudan: War, Hunger, Rebels
The people of South Sudan are in a dire situation, caught between warring government troops and rebel forces. The conflict has caused NGOs to flee the region, leaving many destitute and desperate without vital aid. With only hostile entities on either side, living conditions for the Nuer are increasingly dangerous and volatile. This ongoing conflict is further exacerbated by hunger among the population – a result of diminishing resources, malnutrition and economic hardship. Without help, the Nuer people can only hope that one day peace will come and their suffering will end. Until then, all they are left with is hope for a better future.
2. Oil Wars: Sudan Torn Apart (Civil War Documentary) | Real Stories
Oil Wars: Sudan Torn Apart is a captivating documentary that highlights the devastating effects of war and oil in Sudan. Examining the battles between different ethnic groups, it asks if political agendas and economic gain have trumped humanitarian concerns in this African nation. Through interviews with survivors of the conflict, we gain an intimate understanding of the human costs involved. It’s essential viewing for anyone interested in learning more about the enduring effects of war and its lasting impact on Sudanese society. A must-watch for those wanting to understand the region and how oil can be used as a weapon of mass destruction.
3. Sudan: History of a Broken Land
As the people of Sudan ponder the future, a nation prepares to make a monumental decision. The result will directly impact its citizens and shape its identity for generations to come. Al Jazeera has produced an insightful documentary, Sudan: History of a Broken Land, which takes viewers on a journey through the country’s turbulent past. By weaving personal stories with historical accounts, the documentary depicts a nation of strength and resilience in the face of decades of conflict. Through its exploration of Sudan’s recent history, viewers are given an understanding of what is at stake for this complex and divided country.
4. Ambushed in South Sudan
The conflict in South Sudan erupted suddenly and violently in December when members of the SPLA – the country’s army – began to feud. What started as a disagreement between two sects quickly escalated into warring factions. On one side were those who remained loyal to President Salva Kiir, a member of the Dinka tribe; on the other, an insurgency made up of former Vice President Riek Machar’s Nuer tribe. Unfortunately, both sides have been accused of extremely serious human rights abuses throughout the conflict.In light of this, VICE News travelled to Juba in order to document the escalating violence.
5. Exclusive video: South Sudan, a cursed land
This cursed land of South Sudan has been devastated for the past four years by a raging civil war. Displaced families are struggling to survive due to famine throughout the conflict zones, leaving behind all that they know as they search desperately for safety. FRANCE 24 reporters Charles Emptaz and Olivier Jobard spoke with people in eastern Jonglei region, where government troops are leading an offensive to take Waat, the regional capital. The stories they heard are heartbreaking and illustrate the tragedy sweeping this region with no signs of improvement in sight. Through their interviewees, these reporters have painted a vivid picture of the immense suffering endured by so many innocent people who only want peace.
6. Joanna Lumley’s Nile: Sudan
Joanna Lumley’s Nile: Sudan is an incredible documentary series following Joanna Lumley as she embarks on the 18-hour journey from Egypt to Sudan, traversing Lake Nasser by ferry. During her travels, she encounters a plethora of interesting sights and experiences – from witnessing the spectacular statues at Abu Simbel to searching for giant crocodiles in the Nile. She even takes a drive to an ancient holy mountain and descends deep underground to explore the tomb of a Queen from 650 B.C. By the end of her journey, she has truly seen firsthand the best that Sudan has to offer.
7. Southern Sudanese leader John Garang’s mysterious death
On a fateful night in July 2005, John Garang de Mabior, leader of the South Sudanese rebellion and newly appointed Vice President, took off on his return flight to Sudan following a two day visit with his friend Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda. Minutes after taking off, the plane crashed into an area that was far too rugged for an emergency crew to reach. His death became a mystery and was shrouded in rumors that his death was orchestrated by his enemies. In the coming years, a handful of documentaries would be released attempting to uncover what exactly happened on that fateful night.
8. Sudan: Fight for the soul of the North
The future of the African nation of Sudan hangs in the balance. With independence for South Sudan looming, it’s important to look at what is happening in North Sudan and how its citizens are fighting for their own freedom. The documentary “Sudan: Fight for the Soul of the North” gives us an intimate look into this struggle and those who are putting their lives on the line to make a better life for themselves and their families. We meet brave activists, hear powerful stories of oppression and witness incredible courage in the face of danger. This documentary is sure to bring insight into this conflict that often goes overlooked and forgotten by those in the rest of the world.
9. Sailing The Nile To Discover The Forgotten Pharoes Of Sudan
Sailing along the Nile, we explore one of the world’s least seen countries – Sudan. Onboard ancient boats, creaking rigging and wind-filled sails allow us to take in a part of history that has remained virtually unchanged for centuries. While onshore fortresses tell tales of turbulent times past, we can appreciate this era from afar while relaxing on the tranquil waters of the Nile. Through David Adams’ journey, we get to experience a forgotten part of Sudan – one where Pharaohs still rule and time stands still.
10. 72 hours in Most Dangerous country in Africa / South Sudan / Mundari People and Cow Urine Drink
I’m finding myself in a unique and exotic place today – South Sudan. It’s the home to the tallest people on Earth who sleep next to their cows, and wash themselves with cow urine! This habit might sound strange, but that’s what makes this experience so extraordinary. Not only do they have a fascinating lifestyle, but they are always ready for any potential trouble. The people here carry their Kalashnikovs and machine-guns with them, just in case any other tribes might attack or start a fight. It’s an incredible sight that I won’t forget anytime soon.