category Focus: Africa


English, Chinese, Arabic, Ma'di, Toposa


Romanian, English


We Come as Friends


Sauper’s previous film, Darwin’s Nightmare (2004) opened with the arrival of an enormous cargo plane at an airstrip in Tanzania, ready to take in tons of processed fish to be consumed in Europe. Ten years later, We Come as Friends – the second film of his planned Africa trilogy – opens with the arrival, in South Sudan, of a tiny plane piloted by Sauper himself. While President Omar al-Bashir is being charged with genocide in Darfur, Sauper adopts the position of the court jester who speaks loudly about the sensitive things that others keep silent about – in this case, the neocolonialist exploitation of a country devastated by war and populated by American evangelists, Chinese labourers, international bureaucrats and businessmen, all ready to ‘help’ the country while pillaging on its resources. To understand Africa’s new breed of predators, Sauper looks back at the history of the European colonial dream while piecing together a collage of contemporary vignettes, each one representing a leap from one part of South Sudan to the other.


Beautifully photographed, with an acute sense of visual detail and a memorable soundtrack, this is a provocative and politically-charged incursion into the depths of neocolonialist exploitation of a resource-rich country, never losing sight of the long line of white people who also arrived “as friends” in Africa. Did you know that the moon belonged to the white man?

The documentary has been "adopted" by the Civil Society Development Foundation.


2014 - Viennale, Austria
2014 - Vienna Film Prize, Austria, Documentary Winner
2014 - Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, Czech Republic, Best Central and Eastern European Documentary Film
2014 - Planete + Doc, Poland, Millennium Award
2014 - IDFA, Netherlands
2014 - CPH:DOX, Demnark
2014 - Antenna Film Festival, Australia
2014 - Morelia Festival Internacional de Cine, Mexico
2014 - Haifa International Film Festival, Israel
2014 - BFI London Film Festival, UK
2014 - Busan International Film Festival, South Korea
2014 - Vancouver International Film Festival, Canada
2014 - Zurich Film Festival, Switzerland
2014 - Bergen International Film Festival, Norway
2014 - Helsinki International Film Festival, Finland
2014 - Milano Film Festival, Italy
2014 - DokuFest, Kosovo
2014 - Durban International Film Festival, South Africa
2014 - San Francisco International Film Festival, USA
2014 - Istanbul Film Festival, Turkey
2014 - BAFICI Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival, Argentina
2014 - New Directors/New Films, USA
2014 - Berlin International Film Festival, Germany, Peace Film Prize
2014 - Sundance Film Festival, USA, World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Prize


Le Pacte