About movie

Sifinja – The Iron Bride

Original title Sifinja – Die eiserne Braut


A film about mobility, human creativity, and technology in a Sudanese truck community. The English Bedford-Lorry was introduced to Sudan in the late 1960ies. 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.

Author/s Valerie Haensch

2001 to 2006: Studies in Social Anthropology, Visual Anthropology, and African Studies, University of Munich, Germany. 2006 to 2008: Research Assistant at the University of Bayreuth, Chair of Anthropology, in a research project on the creativity of local truck mechanics in Northern Sudan, using the camera as method and tool for research. 2007: Teaching Visual Anthropology at University of Bayreuth. 2008/2009: 12 months of field research in Sudan. Since Spring 2008: PhD-Candidate at BIGSAS – Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies. Director’s Filmography: 2004 Ramadan Karim, Hi 8, 34 Min. 2006 Manasirland – Development Refugees, DV, 22 Min. 2007 Sharia Debates in Africa, DV, 7:47 Min. 2009 Sifinja – The Iron Bride, DV, 70 Min.

Research Kurt Beck, Valerie Haensch
Photography Valerie Haensch
Sound Valerie Haensch
Editing Georg Höngdobler