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RULES OF WAR

Guido Hendrikx / Netherlands / 2022 / 53 min / World Premiere

Simple setup, complex film: a Red Cross delegate and a group of hardcore South Sudanese soldiers clash in their views of war and conflict. From the mind behind the CPH:DOX hit ‘A Man and a Camera’.

‘In 2018 I met a middle-aged, fairly good-looking man in a hotel in Juba, the capital city of South Sudan’. Thus a short text introduces us to ‘Rules of War’, the new film by Guido Hendrikx (the mastermind behind last year’s CPH:DOX hit ‘A Man and a Camera’), who ends up following the stranger on his trip around the war-torn but, for the moment, relatively calm country. The man turns out to be Red Cross delegate and former soldier, Albert Schoneveld, who travels the world’s conflict zones to teach hardened soldiers about the rules of just war. Because wars do have rules, the question is just whether the parties can agree to follow them. And whether we even share a basic view of the world across radically different cultural backgrounds. In a minimalist setup that allows the complexities and contrasts of the exchanges between the participants to stand out clearly, we find Schoneveld in a circle of hardcore South Sudanese soldiers. Guido Hendrikx’s confidence in one’s own intelligence and critical judgement is as high as ever.