We Come as Friends

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    We Come as Friends

    Directed by

    France, Austria


    110 min

    • English
    • Arabic
    • Mandarin


    Nominated for European Documentary - European Film Academy

    WE COME AS FRIENDS is a modern odyssey, a dizzying, science fiction-like journey into the heart of Africa. At the moment when the Sudan, the continent’s biggest country, is being divided into two nations, an old ‘civilizing’ pathology re-emerges - that of colonialism, clash of empires, and yet new episodes of bloody (and holy) wars over land and resources.

    The director of DARWIN’S NIGHTMARE takes us on this voyage in his tiny, self-made flying machine out of tin and canvas, he leads us into most improbable locations and into people’s thoughts and dreams, in both stunning and heartbreaking ways. Chinese oil workers, UN peacekeepers, Sudanese warlords, and American evangelists ironically weave common ground in this documentary.

    If “History does not repeat itself, but rhymes”, WE COME AS FRIENDS bares witness to this disquieting reality – it is a complex, profound and humorous cinematic endeavor – a tale of very old and rather sinister verses.


    • Peace Film Prize, Friedensfilmpreis - Berlinale
    • Wiener Filmpreis (Documentary) - Viennale
    • Best Central and Eastern European Documentary - Jihlava IDFF
    • Wild Dreamer Award - Zagreb FF
    • Grand Prix - Warsaw IFF
    • Honorable Mention - Bergen IFF
    • Millennium Award - Warshcau, Wroclaw Planet + Doc FF
    • Special Jury Award for Cinematic Bravery - Sundance FF


    Labels & Line Ups


    Hubert Sauper
    Hubert Sauper
    Barney Broomfield
    Hubert Sauper
    Cathie Dambel
    Denise Vindevogel
    Slim Twig


    A masterfully composed and suitably outraged look at the neocolonialist exploitation of South Sudan.

    Rob Nelson, Variety

    ...surreal, moving, infuriating and persuasive argument that in South Sudan, there’s nothing post about colonialism.

    Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

    Provocative and unapologetically political filmmaker Hubert Sauper returns to the kind of African situations that characterized his Oscar-nominated “Darwin’s Nightmare”.

    Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

    Hubert Sauper

    Hubert Sauper


    What you really search for, as an artist, is to create cinema which can give people a 'first-hand life experience.'

    Hubert Sauper was born in Kitzbühel/Tyrol, in the Austrian Alps. He lived in Great Britain, Italy, the USA, and then France for ten years. He studied film directing in Vienna (Univ. of Performing Arts) and in Paris (Univ. de Paris VIII.) and graduated with a B.A. (Mag. Art). Hubert teaches film classes in Europe and the USA. KISANGANI DIARY (1998) won numerous International Film Prizes and DARWIN'S NIGHTMARE (2004) was nominated for an Academy Award. He has also written and directed other works including ALONE WITH OUR STORIES (2000) and ON THE ROAD WITH EMIL (1993). His latest documentary WE COME AS FRIENDS was awarded at both the Viennale & Biennale this year and is currently an EFA nominee.

    Selected Filmography