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

Monday, 22 August 2011


En film av Staffan Julén och Marius van Niekerk
I en skokartong bär Marius van Niekerk plågsamma minnen. Dem har han släpat på i 28 år, sedan han var sydafrikansk soldat i Angola. Det räcker inte att kasta kartongen för att bli av med minnena, i stället konfronterar han dem på en resa i Angola tillsammans med sina forna fiender. I dokumentären ”Mitt mörka hjärta” reser fyra krigsveteraner tillsammans på en båt på floden Kwando. Det är en resa som sker både längs krigsskådeplatser och i minnena.  More...

For other language translations use Google Chrome's translate function.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011


South African writer / director Marius van Niekerk’s My Heart of Darkness will have its African premiere at the upcoming TriContinental Film Festival. The film was produced & co-directed and produced by Staffan Julén.  More...

Wednesday, 10 August 2011



The much anticipated TRI CONTINENTAL FILM FESTIVAL is coming to select Ster-Kinekor and Cinema Nouveau theatres this September!

The Tri Continental Film Festival (TCFF) is South Africa’s only dedicated human rights film event and consists of films that promote democratisation, deepens understanding, and affords those marginalised a substantive voice, proving to be more vital than ever in our rapidly changing world.

TCFF has played a significant role in creating a sustainable and continually growing audience for social justice cinema over the past nine years, through film selection that is nuanced, relevant, informative and well-balanced, and promise to continue this tradition in 2011, with a program that reflects global currents of change and action.

The selection of films presented this year is the result of rigorous curation of over 500 entries. These works speak directly to the pressing concerns of our world and the power of documentary and fiction to relay these concerns in a compelling and powerful manner. TCFF is also pleased to present two retrospectives; the outstanding works of Peter Wintonick and a finely crafted selection from documentary icon Werner Herzog is presented in conjunction with The Goethe-Institute Johannesburg.

“We are proud to present a crop of excellent films which speak directly to this issue and will continue to do so in the coming years so we can play our own small part in building a movement to halt the forward march towards the end of humanity as we know it,” says Rehad Desai, the Festival Director.


Four war-veterans, from different sides, step onto a boat at the mouth of the Kwando river deep within the African interior. They are on a journey back to past battlefields, the sites where they as youngsters, tried to kill each other during apartheid South Africa¹s interventions in Namibia and Angola (1975-1992). South African writer / director Marius van Niekerk’s My Heart of Darkness will have its African premiere at the upcoming TriContinental Film Festival. The film was co-directed and produced by Staffan Julén.
Screening Program
* Soweto, Maponya  -  5.30pm 9th September  (African Premier)

* Johannesburg, Bioscope  – 3.00pm 10th September 

* Johannesburg, Rosebank Cinema Nouveau  - 8pm 14th September

* Cape Town Cinema Nouveau – 6.30pm 18th Sept

* Cape Town Cinema Nouveau - 08:15pm 22 Sept

* Pretoria, Brooklyn Nouveau - 8.00pm 27 September 

Please spread the festival date amongst your friends, especially your war veteran friends, family & therapists and come and meet us at the Tri-Continental Human Rights Film Festival 9th and 28th of September 2011 in Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Pretoria, South Africa for our African premier. Book your seats now. During the festival special venues are planned addressing veterans issues and post apartheid war legacy. Your presence and support are vital to us spreading this message of reconciliation. Looking forward to see you there.

Visiting director: Marius van Niekerk
Visiting cast: Mario Mahonga & Patrick Johannes (Johannesburg only)
+46 70 259 56 25

Monday, 8 August 2011


Recent article in Dagens Nyheter/Insidan (one of Sweden's biggest dailies) "War veteran search for Reconciliation". To read this article in English download Google Chrome at the following link and use it's translate function (