Heart of Nuba, The: Docu about Ongoing Genocide in Sudan

The Heart of Nuba, a documentary about the ongoing genocide in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, will be screened on all seven continents beginning this week in observance of the United Nations Genocide Prevention Day on December 9 and Human Rights Day on December 10.

Select screenings will include a virtual reality experience that affords viewers around the world a first-person, on-the-ground look at the war and its victims.

The Heart of Nuba will be screened for members of the United States Congress, the United Nations, the House of Lords in London, Paris City Hall, Rome, three locations in Sudan, and other cities around the world. This global release comes on the heels of an impactful viewing at The Hague, home of the International Criminal Court, which has indicted Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir for crimes against humanity, war crimes and three counts of genocide.

The film profiles American doctor Tom Catena, the only surgeon in a region of roughly a million people, running a 435-bed hospital and struggling daily to save the lives of those burned and maimed by their government. A small but dedicated medical staff has served at his side, under dire conditions, for nearly a decade. On more than one occasion, government aircraft have targeted the hospital, and even Catena’s home, with aerial bombings.
“The Heart of Nuba is so important because it makes people connect with the crisis in Sudan on a personal level,” said Adotei Akwei, Managing Director for Government Relations at Amnesty International USA. “Once it’s personal and you see the positive, amazing story of Dr. Catena, you begin to see the impact of the lack of medical care, the impact of full-scale aerial bombardment and other war crimes, it moves from a list of human rights abuses to ‘look at what they’re doing to this child,’” he said.
With new screenings being added each day, the more than 30 events being held over the next few weeks are supported and hosted by some of the most influential human rights organizations and Sudan rights groups in the world, including Human Rights Watch, Act for Sudan Coalition, Operation Broken Silence, Waging Peace, Magkasama Project, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Sudan and South Sudan, International Justice Project, Jewish World Watch and Amnesty International, which has already screened the film at several of its regional conferences.

“It is our hope that this movie will give a voice to the voiceless and shed some light on the plight of the Nuba in this forgotten corner of the world,” said Catena. “Let the dead and maimed have their day in court.”

Filmmaker Ken Carlson was smuggled into the Nuba Mountains to document Catena and his team’s heroic work, and the violent campaign of ethnic cleansing that has widely been ignored by the international community since it began in 2011.
“President al-Bashir can get away with bombing schools and hospitals because people are unaware that it’s happening,” Carlson said. It was the pressing humanitarian crisis in Nuba that influenced him to release the film immediately through the international coalition of non-governmental organizations rather than wait to secure traditional distribution. “We’re putting this tragedy in front of a global audience and calling it what it is: genocide,” he said.

The global rollout of the film will have a corresponding digital campaign that calls on the broader community of supporters who have seen the film to sign on as witnesses.
The Heart of Nuba virtual reality experience accompanying a select number of screenings is made possible by 360-degree video taken in the Nuba Mountains. Viewers will meet Dr. Tom and victims of the conflict while being driven from the site of a recent bombing through abandoned villages and on to mountain caves where refugees have taken shelter.