PAFF 2014: 'Children's Republic' (Fantasy Film About Country Ruled By Children Who Don't Age)

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by Tambay A. Obenson
February 3, 2014 2:12 PM
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This reads like something wholly original and I'm definitely intrigued.

Titled Children's Republic (La république des enfants) by Bissau-Guinean filmmaker Flora Gomes, the synopsis for the film follows:

In West Africa, there's a small country every adult abandoned. The children get organized and the Children's Republic becomes a stable and prosperous country. But the children can no longer grow up.

Researching, I found very few links which made it difficult to put a comprehensive post on the film together. But I learned that it's a futuristic tale of a city ruled by children, its only inhabitants, after a horrific and tragic civil war. And even more strange, the children, for some reason, don't age. Conflict arises when child soldiers from the outside enter this unusual community of children. 

It's been suggested by some that the film is an allegory on the possibility of African youth taking over the hope of building democracy on the African continent without forgetting its past.

There's a website set up for the film but it's all in French. I used Google to translate and what I typed above is what I could piece together based on the not-very-good translation. Also the site doesn't seem to have been updated in a long time.

The film, which is set in Guinea-Bissau, in West Africa, was produced with funds from the European Union, and it's categorized as a fantasy film.

Danny Glover co-stars in the film, along with Melanie Vales Rafael, and Hedviges Mamudo.

Director Flora Gomes (who's from Guinea-Bissau) studied film at the ICAIC in Cuba. His directing resume includes films like Mortu Nega (1987), which screened the next year at the Venice International Film Festival. After That, he directed The Blue Eyes of Yonta (1992) and Po di Sangui which screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 1996. 

There isn't much of what I'd call a thriving filmmaking community/industry in Guinea-Bissau, with Gomes likely being the country's most prominent filmmaker. 

Children's Republic is his 7th full-length film.

There's sadly no trailer for it. I couldn't find one in any language. But there are lots of on-set photos and pics from the film around the web, like the one above with Glover.

It's scheduled to screen at the Pan African Film Festival that takes place in Los Angeles, CA, which runs from February 6-172014, celebrating its 22nd anniversary..

PAFF is celebrating its 22nd anniversary this year, screening a total of 172 films - 37 documentaries, 23 short documentaries, 55 narrative features, and 57 narrative shorts, as well as 11 webseries in the new category of new media - all representing 46 countries.

For more information about the official selections, visit the festival’s website athttp://www.paff.org/paff-2014-films-selected/.

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More: Donald Glover, Flora Gomes

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4 Comments

  • Claudia | February 3, 2014 4:29 PMReply

    For the trailer look for "A República di Mininus" in youtube.

    Danny Glover, married with a Brazilian teacher, has been in a couple of projects from Portuguese speaking directors. He is indeed an actor of world! Amazing. (It is also said that he admires the Brazilian Lazaro Ramos - Madame Sata, The Man Who Copied, Carandiru.)

  • Kelley Marie | February 4, 2014 1:01 PM

    Thanks Claudia for the trailer info! This looks like an excellent film. Also, I miss Danny Glover.

  • Claudia | February 3, 2014 4:31 PM

    *A Republica di Mininus

  • Misha | February 3, 2014 2:28 PMReply

    Tambay,
    Thank you for your continued diligence with tracking down films by African filmmakers! I love the speculative genre, and very much look forward to this offering.

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