Mogadishu soldier

by Torstein Grude

Contemporary Lives

(Danimarca, Norvegia, Finlandia / 2016 / 84’)

How can you hope to get a raw insight of the fighting in Somalia, which has seen Al-Shabaab Islamic fundamentalists clash against the government and has for more than a decade bloodied the streets of the capital, Mogadishu? By handing a video camera to two Burundi soldiers of the African Union Mission (AMISOM) fighting under the UN flag. Technically, it’s a peace mission. But a war is marked by assaults and ambushes, humanitarian emergencies, civilian relief operations. And also by nostalgia, the ache for normal life, desperate hope, human weaknesses... Torstein Grude, co-producer of Joshua Oppenheimer's masterpieces The Act of Killing and The Look of Silence, reconstructs through these images the thousand facets of the conflict, offering a portrait free of censorship or filters.