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A Haunting History

Ilse van Velzen / Femke van Velzen
haunting history a

Dutch premiere

Lawyer Anuol Deng (30) went to law school in England. He returned to his birthplace in South Sudan with the ambition to help rebuild his country: a new state where everyone is entitled to fair justice. It becomes a hard and frustrating endeavour. Many people in South Sudan are in desperate pursuit of peace and reconciliation. But what role does the law play in this?


After years of absence, Anuol returns to his native village which he fled during the ‘Bor Massacre’ in 1991. He is joyfully welcomed and is reunited with his mother after a long parting. Now that South Sudan is an independent state and peace seems to be somewhat restored, Anuol takes up the mission to bring the perpetrators of the massacres to justice and raise a monument for the victims.

However, his plans are not welcomed everywhere: most South Sudanese want to forget past misery and forgive the perpetrators. Justice is seen as a form of revenge. Meanwhile, Riek Machar, suspected of being responsible for the bloodbath, is vice-president of South Sudan. Anuol fears a repetition of events if the perpetrators are not held accountable. He is proven right when the tribal violence rises again and he has to flee with his family to Uganda.

Upon his return to the village, he discovers that houses have been set on fire and people have been shot in cold blood in the streets. This is the moment when doubt strikes Anuol: will he ever be able to mean anything for this new country where tribal wars, culture, tradition, corruption and a very limited legal system all contribute to the continued repetition of history?


Netherlands, The 2015, 70 min.


Spoken language: Dinka, English

Subtitles: English

Official website:


IF Productions

+31 642296948

Dutch distribution:

Cinema Delicatessen

+31 204207123

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Talkshows & debates

A Haunting History: Dutch premiere

Sunday, March 20, 2016 - 17:15

Festive Dutch premiere screening attended by the protagonists Anuol Deng and Peter Deng and filmmakers Femke and Ilse van Velzen.

Daily Matters Talk Show WAR & PEACE

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - 21:00

Talk show about war and peace. Bahram Sadeghi will talk to a.o. activist Oleg Khabibrakhmanov (Chechnya, War Without Trace), lawyer Anuol Deng (A Haunting History) and activist Zahra Langhi about the current situation in Libia. 

A Haunting History: Q&A with Anuol and Peter Deng and filmmaker Ilse van Velzen

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - 19:15

Q&A with the protagonists Anuol Deng and Peter Deng and filmmaker Ilse van Velzen.

A Haunting History: Camera Justitia Night

Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 20:00

At the Camera Justitia Night, there will be a Q&A after the screening of the film, with protagonists Anuol Deng and Peter Deng, filmmakers Femke and Ilse van Velzen and former Dutch Ambassador in South Su

Human rights
crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide
courts & tribunals, transitional justice
politics & democracy
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