We were rebels


Documentary, 92 min

Dir: Katharina von Schroeder, Florian Schewe

Prod: Perfect Shot Films / ZDF Das kleine Fernsehspiel

DP: Florian Schewe, Katharina von Schroeder

Sound: Katharina von Schroeder

Editor: André Nier

Language: English, Dinka, Arabic

Subtitles: English, German

Year of completion: 2014

The documentary film WE WERE REBELS tells the story of Agel, a former child soldier who returns to South Sudan to help build up his country. The film accompanies him over a period of two years – from South Sudan gaining its independence in 2011 to the renewed outbreak of civil war in December 2013.

As captain of the national basketball team of South Sudan – the youngest country in the world – Agel coaches the team through their very first international match against Uganda. The conflicts within the team bear a striking resemblance to the political problems festering across the country.

An injury ends up forcing Agel to leave the basketball team, and he goes on to form an NGO that provides the country’s most remote areas with clean drinking water. His journeys give him time to reflect on his country – on how it was, how it is, and how he hopes it will be one day. As a child soldier, Agel had to kill and also lost almost all of his male relatives. Later he managed to flee via Kenya to Australia, where he became a professional basketball player and returned to South Sudan a free man.

Today, just two years after gaining its independence, the world’s youngest nation is once again teetering on the edge of a precipice: More than half a million people are fleeing the country, and Agel is fighting as a soldier once again.

World Sales: Taskovski Films

VOD: Syndicado

TV distribution: World Stories

More about the film: perfect shot films, film page on facebook


Grimme Award / Grimme Preis 2015

Link: Jury statement, Grimme Institut

Best Documentary

Brooklyn Film Festival 2015

Link: Brooklyn Film Festival

Nominated for the

German Documentary Film Award 2015
/ Deutscher Dokumentarfilmpreis 2015

Link: German Documentary Film Award

Grand Prize of the jury

Festival International du Film de Droits de l'homme 2016


Grand Prix

International Human Rights Film Festival Guadeloupe 2016

Link: Human Rights Festival Guadeloupe

Award for Historical Film

AGON Film Festival, Athens, Greece 2016

Agon Film Festival



Document International Human Rights Film Festival, Glasgow, Scotland

Oct, 20 - 23, 2016

Link: Document Film Festival

Human Rights Film Festival, Guadeloupe

Oct, 7 - 14, 2016

Link: Human Rights Festival Guadeloupe

AGON Film Festival, Athens, Greece

Oct, 17 - 23, 2016

Link: Agon Film Festival

Congo International Film Festival, Goma, DR Congo

July 2 - 9, 2016

Link: CIFF

Juba Film Festival, South Sudan

July 4 - 7, 2016

Link: Juba Film Festival

Festival International du Film de Droits de l'homme de Paris, France

April 5 - 19, 2016

Link: Festival Droits de l'homme

Human Rights Watch Film Festival, Nairobi, Kenia

Nov 18th, 2015

Link: Human Rights Watch

Films from the South Festival, Oslo, Norway

Oct 8 - 18, 2015

Link: Film far Sør

Budapest International Documentary Festival, Hungary

Sep 23 - 27, 2015

Link: BIDF

Sole Luna Treviso Doc Film Festival, Italy

International Competition

Sep 14 - 20, 2015

Link: Treviso Doc Film Festival

Ciné Droit Libre, Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Sep 14 - 19, 2015

Link: Goethe Institut Abidjan

Brooklyn Film Festival, New York, USA

May 29 - June 7, 2015

Link: Brooklyn Film Festival

Input TV - television in the public interest, Tokyo, Japan

May 11 - 14, 2015

Link: Input TV

Nashville Film Festival, USA

April 16 - 25, 2015

Link: Nashville Film Festival

Days of European Film, Prague, Czech Republic

April 16, 2015

Link: Days of European Film

Human Rights Human Wrongs Documentary Film Festival, Oslo, Norway

Feb 10 - 15, 2015

Link: Human Rights Festival

DocPoint, Helsinki Documentary Film Festival, Helsinki, Finland

Jan 27- Feb 1st, 2015

Link: DocPoint Helsinki

Escales Documentaires de Libreville, Libreville, Gabon

December 1-7, 2014

Link: Escales Documentaires de Libreville

International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), The Netherlands

November 19-30, 2014

Link: IDFA

DOK Leipzig - Leipzig Screenings, Germany

October 27th, 2014

Link: Leipzig Screening

Montreal World Film Festival, Canada

August 21 - Sep 1, 2014

Link: Montreal World Film Festival

iREP Monthly Documentary Film Screening, Lagos, Nigeria

August 23rd, 2014

Link: iREP

Ecrans Noirs, Yaoundé, Cameroon

July 19 - 26, 2014

Link: Ecrans Noirs

Rwanda Film Festival, Kigali, Rwanda

Screening: July 13th, 2014

Link: Rwanda Film Festival

International Documentary Film Festival Munich, Germany

Screening: May 8 & 11, 2014

Link: DOK.fest


Goethe Institut Addis Abeba, Ethiopia

Nov 12, 2015

Link: Goethe Institut Addis Abeba

23. Fernsehworkshop Entwicklungspolitik,

Televison Workshop Development Politics, Frankfurt, Germany

June 11-14, 2015

Link: Fernsehworkshop

28th Sudan and South Sudan Conference, Germany

June 10-12, 2015

Link: Sudan Forum

The Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London

The London Confernce 2015

June 1-2, 2015

Link: Chatham House

Essenheimer Kunstverein, Germany

May 28th, 2015

Link: Essenheimer Kunstverein

Frontline Club, London

April 10th, 2015

Link: Frontline Club

LSE - London School of Economics and Political Science

December 2014

Link: Africa at LSE

Humanitarian Congress Berlin, Germany

October 9th, 2014, 8 pm at "Filmtheater am Friedrichshain"

Link: Humanitarian Congress Berlin

Berlin premiere:

June 25th, 2014, 6 pm at "Filmtheater am Friedrichshain"


German TV:

July 14th, 2014 on ZDF: "Wir waren Rebellen - Krieg und Frieden im Südsudan"

Link: Wir waren Rebellen - ZDF

Via satellite throughout Africa:

DStv Africa: July 6th, 2015

Link: AFRIDOCS on DStv


BBC WORLD - Storyville Global, May 27-28th, 2017



3sat, deutschlandradio kultur, taz, bln.fm, zenith, misereor, ZDF, Funkhaus Europa, Africa at LSE, wolfsiehtfern, Dagsavisen Newspaper Norway, BBC