Documentary screening with Movies that Matter: Hissein Habré, A Chadian Tragedy

Clemence Abaifouta and othersOne of the most important contemporary African filmmakers, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (A Screaming Man), has made a new non-fiction feature, which is a chronicle of the former Chadian dictator, tried in an African court in 2016 and convicted of sexual slavery, torture, and the ordered killing of 40,000 people. Hissein Habré was Chad's president from 1982 until his ousting in 1990. His one-party regime committed countless human rights abuses. It also had deep ties to the CIA, which helped to train his notorious secret police force. Like other diabolical dictators who have faced trial, Habré refused to recognize the court's authority and was dragged into the courtroom kicking and screaming. This case marks the first time an African despot was tried by an African Union-backed court.

Mahamat-Saleh Haroun is one of the most important African directors working today. His documentary film Hissein Habré, A Chadian Tragedy is structured around the activities of Clément Abaïfouta, a former prisoner who is now the chairman of the Association of the Victims of the Crimes of the Hissein Habré Regime. Meeting with survivors who bear the physical and psychological scars of Habré's rule, Abaïfouta sensitively elicits their horrific testimonies. In one striking instance, a meeting is facilitated between victim and perpetrator, leading to a citizen-led act of reconciliation. Watch the trailer.

Activist Clément Abaïfouta and director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun will attend the film screening; after the film they will be interviewed by Prof. Han van Dijk, African Studies Centre Leiden.

Logo Movies that Matter Festival 2017This film is part of the Movies that Matter Festival 2017, that will take place from 24 March until 1st April in The Hague.

Length: 82 min.
Year: 2016
Language: French (English subtitles)

Price: € 10,- (students € 8,-). Tickets can be bought at Filmhuis Den Haag as of 9 March.

Date, time and location

29 March 2017
13.30 - 15.30
Filmhuis Den Haag, Spui 191, Den Haag