WE COME AS FRIENDS is the winner of the 29th Peace Film Prize, awarded at the Berlin International Film Festival.
The Austrian filmmaker Hubert Sauper takes his selfmade airplane to Africa, into the epicenter of a conflict: Sudan. Whenever he touches down, he meets people who represent the major players in situations exemplary to the continent. What seems to be down-right interference at first sight is turned into an important artistic tool offering surprising insight into the turmoils of Africa.
All of them are aliens: the evangelical US-American preacher, the Chinese oil producers, even the film maker himself. All of them meet with representatives of the local elite. They eagerly hope for foreign investors. And they all meet the Sudanese, many of them living under dire conditions. This movie with its love for detailed observation inspires our curiosity. It shows how infallibly the mistakes of the colonial past are being repeated today.
This film comes at the right time. Africa is being rediscovered by German foreign and security policy. Our “freedom” will soon not only be defended at the Hindukush but also beyond the Sahara. And therefore accidentally the access to natural resources: (But of course: ) we “come as friends”…
The Peace Film Prize is the only award recognizing messages of peace in movies at an A-film festival and has been awarded since the UN Year of Peace in 1986. Every year one movie competing in the Berlin International Film Festival program is honored with the award, which is endowed with 5,000 Euros and is represented by a bronze sculpture by the artist Otmar Alt. The jury comprises nine members who view films from all sections.
The Peace Film Prize is awarded under the patronage of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War/Physicians for Social Responsibility (IPPNW). Its initiators include: the Peace Initiative Zehlendorf, Heinrich Böll Foundation and IPPNW.