rai-sifinja_the_iron_brideDirector Valerie Hänsch
Country/Production Sudan/Germany
Release 2009
Length 70 minutes
Format Colour / DVD / Pal / All region
Location Sudan
Language Sudan, Arabic (English subtitles)
University of Bayreuth, Germany
Comments Winner Material Culture & Archaeology Film Prize 2011

Order No RAI-200.384
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A film about mobility, human creativity, and technology in a Sudanese truck community.
The English Bedford-Lorry was introduced to Sudan in the late 1960s. Since then, local craftsmen technically modify the truck into an ideal vehicle, adequate for traveling off-road and for performing customers’ expectations.

The craftsmen and drivers call the lorry “Sifinja” because it is soft and comfortable like the plastic slippers it is named after. In different places in Sudan the carpenters and blacksmiths not only create a shiny iron bride, but they change the whole structure of the lorry through a highly unorthodox performance.

Following closely the daily work, art and history of truck-modding on the Nile, a fascinating way of African creativity dealing with global commodities – the automobiles - is opened up.

The documentary weaves the original sound of hammering and sawing, drilling and riveting, into a rhythmic, exhilarating audio-visual adventure.