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Trailer: 'Children's Republic' (Bissau-Guinean Film About Country Ruled By Children Who Don't Age)

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by Tambay A. Obenson
February 4, 2014 1:29 PM
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Thanks to reader Claudia for alerting me to the trailer for this feature film that I profiled yesterday (at the time of that piece, I wasn't aware a trailer existed, despite my search). And although it's a bit noisy and unfocused (the trailer), I'm even more interested in seeing the film in full after watching it. There's enough meat in it, plus the synopsis and filmmaker already had my attention - especially in light of Stateside interest in adventure/fantasy/drama series centered around communities of young adults, like The Hunger Games franchise, to start.

Titled Children's Republic (La république des enfants or Republica di Mininus) 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.

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. 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.

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..

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

Without further ado, here's the trailer for Children's Republic (full poster underneath):

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