No Simple Way Home

Perspective Fund


Akuol de Mabior


Emma Nzioka

Sound Mixer

Josephine Obudo


Sam Soko


Development support


As South Sudan hangs in the balance of a tenuous peace agreement, my mother, Nyandeng, prepares to become one of our country’s five vice presidents. Her mission is to safeguard her late husband, John Garang’s, vision for our people, our country, and our family.

My mother and I move from high-level meetings to church gatherings, to my father’s mausoleum. She mostly doesn’t acknowledge my presence, and the people she interacts with follow her example. But at times, when we are spontaneously left alone, she speaks to me, or I conduct an impromptu interview – seeking out her thoughts in the belly of unfolding events. These parts of the film constitute the present and provide its narrative trajectory with February 22nd serving as a climax.

Woven through the path of the present and at the heart of the film is a conversation. Since my father passed away in 2005, my mother has been sharing her dreams and nightmares with me. It’s always in the early hours of the morning when her heart is heaviest. This part of the film uncovers her inner struggle to reconcile family and politics; her greatest fear, which is that my father along with millions of South Sudanese people died in vain; and her deepest yearning, which is for her children and the children of her compatriots to lead meaningful lives at home in South Sudan.