Dutch director Jean
van de Velde marvels at how his life has changed since April 2007, when he began work on The Silent Army. It has become an emotion-filled adventure, both personal and professional. The feature is van de Velde's first ticket to compete in the Official Selection in Cannes. And it is inspired by his own memories of a childhood in the former Belgian Congo.
A white restaurant owner in Africa, Eduard Zuiderwijk has been struggling to raise his child alone since his wife's accidental death. Worse, the political system is now becoming dangerously unstable, and Abu, his son Thomas's best friend, has been kidnapped into the rebel army. Despite the danger, Eduard makes a rash decision to go find the child…
"And I genuinely hope that this film, alongside everything that a normal film has to do, will also provide a contribution to the struggle to allow children anywhere in the world to keep their innocence, their childhood. The more decent and happy their childhood, the nicer people become as adults."