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August 28–September 3, 2015

Chicago Premiere

We Come as Friends

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Film still: We Come as Friends Film still: We Come as Friends Film still: We Come as Friends
Special Jury Prize
Film Fest
Peace Film Award
Berlin Intl
Film Fest
Critics' Pick "[Hubert Sauper] is the rare documentary filmmaker who not only takes on tough subjects but also explores them with a vivid visual and aural approach"
  —New York Times
"Masterfully composed and suitably outraged"
"Terrifyingly direct and intimate"
  —Slant Magazine
  —AV Club
3 stars½ "a film that is audacious on so many fronts... As political as We Come as Friends may be, it is always dramatic, never didactic"
  —Chicago Tribune
Recommended "Eye-widening, surreal, sorrowful and anarchic"
  —NewCity Chicago
  —Chicago Reader

We Come As Friends is a modern odyssey, a science fiction-like journey into the heart of Africa. At the moment when the Sudan, the continent's biggest country, is being divided into two nations, an old "civilizing" pathology re-emerges, that of colonialism, the clash of empires, and new episodes of bloody wars over land and resources. Having liberated themselves from the devil they knew (Sudan President Omar al-Bashir was charged with genocide in Darfur), these embattled people now find themselves confronted by another kind of predator: one who was more than eager to reap financial gains while ignoring the human cost of neocolonialism.

An uncompromising documentarian, Hubert Sauper (Darwin's Nightmare) received a much-deserved Special Jury Prize for Cinematic Bravery at the Sundance Film Festival. Crossing war-ravaged Sudan in an aircraft he constructed himself, Sauper arrives to witness a country with a very uncertain future and captures staggering images of the fledgling nation while simultaneously achieving a remarkable intimacy with its people. We Come As Friends is an intense and daring piece of filmmaking, as he poses the difficult questions that need to be asked and frequently receives harrowing answers.

Directed by Hubert Sauper, France/Austria, 2014, 110 mins. In English, Chinese and Arabic with English subtitles.


  • Fri., Aug. 28 at 6:30 & 8:45 pm
  • Sat., Aug. 29 at 2, 4:15, 6:30 & 8:45 pm
  • Sun., Aug. 30 at 1, 3:15, 5:30 & 7:45 pm
  • Mon.–Thurs., Aug. 31–Sept. 3 at 6:30 & 8:45 pm
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$10 general admission

$5 for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation