Esther und die Geister

Heidi Specogna
Germany | 2012 | 28 min
World premiere
Language : French
Subtitle : French

Clouds from the past hang over the future of Esther, an adolescent from the Central African Republic. She calls them the “evil spirits”, but these nightmares are part of an all-too-human past. Six years earlier, soldiers crossed the river and her live changed forever.  Despite the cruelty of war, by filming with respect, the director captures some wonderful moments of intimacy and hope.

At age 17, teenagers begin thinking of their future. Esther is no exception, at the start of 2008, in a little village in the Central African Republic. But her future is overshadowed by past events. She calls them “evil spirits”, but these nightmares which prevent her from sleeping are part of an all-too-human tragedy. Six years ago, soldiers crossed the river, killed her father, and raped her mother, her sister and herself. Despite the shame they feel, Esther and her family try to go on living. And the teenager’s smile, as she imagines herself grown up and a mother, is priceless. Heidi Specogna has made this film with respect and love. The sisters’ trust enabled her to capture some splendid moments of intimacy, as when they play the game of opposites and, in so doing, name the world. “When I first met them, they were looking at a book full of pictures of the victims of Congolese mercenaries. Eight years later, their commander, Jean-Pierre Bemba, was sentenced for his crimes, but the wounds do not heal” (HS).

Luciano Barisone

Translation BMP Translations

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