MY HEART OF DARKNESS by Eden Film & Gebrueder Beetz productions

Four war-veterans, former enemies journey back to past battlefields deep within the African interior in search of reconciliation, forgiveness and … atonement?

Directors Staffan Julén and Marius van Niekerk

“There are two kinds of men, those who dream of war and those who have nightmares of war” Marius van Niekerk

The characters in our film, MY HEART OF DARKNESS, are men who have nightmares of war. Forcefully recruited into the military at an early age, often to fight against their own countrymen. Four men, four stories entwined, four fucked-up lives. Always ready to crack, to strike out even against those they love? Why do they snap awake in the middle of the night, running, sweating, pursued, terrified?

MY HEART OF DARKNESS, a journey of reconciliation into the dark African jungle, into a psyche so tainted with years of colonisation, religious brainwash, superstition and witchcraft, where history seems unnoticed, mistakes repeated over and over again, where lies are true until discovered, where life’s worth as much as a bullet, a journey that took us into the darkest of our own souls.

It is undeniably a story that becomes frightening and cruel the farther we churned up that river. Nevertheless, deep down there is a flicker of hope, of human hope that tells of a will to change and the painful insight that shows the contrast of cruelty and selfishness… to dare to love your enemy.

As story infinite and universal, that all can relate to, even if you haven’t been in a war yourself. As more young boys return from Afghanistan to peaceful Sweden wrapped up in body bags, one often wanders what it take to quench the warmonger’s of this world’s thirst for blood, how many bodies will it take to still their hunger for death and destruction… and what will it take to cleanse all that?

During the nearly four years of working on the film, following the veterans journey up the river, closer and closer to their own hearts of darkness, we too had to delve deeper and deeper into our very own souls, our owns doubts but we had to go there to fully understand this process, to participate in that final blood cleansing ceremony. It was inspiring to watch our characters change and transform from former enemies to friends, and made us realise that veterans the world over, have many similarities and much to share and learn from each other. Deep down there the roots are at work, very often, with no one to encourage them.

They are true role models, risking proving to themselves and also to us, that reconciliation is possible and that war is fucked up, and that most people just want to live a peaceful life.

Stockholm 05 November 2010

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

TEMPO Documentary Film Festival Award, Stockholm 08th-13th March 2011.

Screening dates:

Fri 11/3, 15.00 Victoria 2
Sun 13/3, 15.50 Victoria 7

We have invited the Ambassadors of the SADC countries and South African Ambassador Honourable Zeph Makgetla and his wife Neva to the screening Friday 11th. He's returning to South Africa end of this month so would be a good opportunity to meet and say goodbye. 

Come and join us for a drink at the opening party/Invigningsfest Friday18:00 at Rival.  

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Göteborg International Film Festival Update - Last Screening

We had a packed last screening on Saturday 5/2 10.00 Bergakungen 4,  with 89 seats sold in a 116 seat theatre. Göteborg, an overall successful festival with a warm, receptive & sympathetic audience.   
Next our film will be screened in competition at the TEMPO Documentary Film Festival in Stockholm in March  and will open in Swedish cinemas in April. Thanks for your support. See you there. Marius

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The Göteborg International Film Festival Screenings Updates

Our Monday 31st screening at Haga1 of "My Heart of Darkness" at Göteborg International Film Festival was sold out. A great audience nearly all stayed for Q&A's. After nearly two hours the host asked us to leave because they wanted to lock up. Exactly my intention of how the film can work. Our next step would be to work in prisons (where many war vets end up), amongst refugees and war veterans in general & peace keeping forces. 
We have one more screening on Saturday 5/2 10.00 Bergakungen 4.  If you in Gothenburg then take the time and see it and share afterwards in the Q&A's. We really feel that is the most important part of any festival.  
Thanks to all of you that already attended the screenings  and thanks for sharing. Marius