Using the story of a mixed-race family to personalize a nation’s troubled history, multihyphenate Taghreed Elsanhouri demonstrates how national issues impact everyday lives in “Our Beloved Sudan.” Though working on a shoestring budget (and it shows), Elsanhouri got access to major players in the country’s internecine conflicts, and was on hand for the recent independence of South Sudan. Balancing rare archival footage, interviews and a deeply touching personal story, the docu makes up in interest what it lacks in style. Given the paucity of Sudanese films, fests and docu channels should take note.
During a lull in tensions between north and south, Amira Alteraify was born to a southern woman and a northern man. When President Gafaar al-Nimeiry allied with the Islamists, any semblance of unity disintegrated, and as the country split, so too did Amira’s family. Elsanhouri adds an Oprah-like meeting between Amira, her mother and step-mother that plays like bad afternoon TV, but otherwise the pic is a cogently argued, well-constructed docu examining the bitter divisions and the inevitability of secession. Elsanhouri has a pleasant voice, but the docu would be better served with an actor as narrator.