Hubert Sauper

Austrian filmmaker Hubert Sauper has become internationally famous for his political documentaries set in Africa, in which he records its present-day wounds and denounces the cynical exploitation of that continent by the West, as well as the tragic consequences of this new colonialism. These films, often shot under difficult conditions, using a small film crew, are characterized by the immediacy of cinema verite, and convey the expressivity of the situations and people filmed. Through these films, Sauper gives voice to the voiceless and speaks with the perpetrators, by approaching them not like evildoers to be judged, but as people caught up in a corrupt system. His ultimate goal is to raise our awareness; to give a face to things that are common knowledge but which we choose not to deal with; to share his unique experiences; and to provide vital space to filmgoers, so that they can draw their own conclusions.
In the heart-rending Kisangani Diary (1998), Sauper comes in contact with refugees who have fled Rwanda into the jungle of Congo, and brings to light their tragedy, by filming shocking images of the ill, the starving and the dying Hutu. In the allegorical Darwin’s Nightmare (2004), he presents the social and environmental consequences of the breeding of the perch of the Nile in Lake Victoria, Tanzania. In this film, the director demonstrates an example of how the system works in global capitalism, where western prosperity and consumerism require the starvation and impoverishment of local communities. Finally, in We Come as Friends (2014), Sauper portrays the face of modern-day colonization in Africa through the splitting of Sudan into two separate countries and the draining of its wealthproducing resources, while at the same time he reveals the thoughts and dreams of the people involved in this conflict.
​The tribute to Hubert Sauper’s work also includes two lesser known documentaries: On the Road with Emil (1993), a poetic and melancholy portrait of the life of a traveling circus in Austria, and Alone with Our Stories (2001), about the physical and emotional domestic violence against women in France. In this way, the Festival’s audiences will have the chance to gain a comprehensive view of this great filmmaker.
Dimitris Kerkinos

1.  Alone with Our Stories / Hubert Sauper, France
2.  Darwin’s Nightmare / Hubert Sauper, Austria-Belgium-France
3.  Kisangani Diary / Hubert Sauper, France-Austria
4.  On the Road with Emil / Hubert Sauper, Austria
5.  We Come as Friends / Hubert Sauper, France-Austria