Synopsis

 

LOGLINE: "Hot Heart Story" is a tale about DUNKA, a girl from a small, poor seaside town, who makes the decision to escape her home in search of a better life with money and comfort. While working on a freighter, she's involved in the rescue of a sinking boat full of African refugees.Dunka takes a now orphaned Sudanese child survivor under her care. This unforeseen event takes her through Africa on a dangerous journey that exposes many global and social issues of today and provides her what is truly most important in life.

Title: Hot Heart Story * Author: Anira Wojan * Production: Artevision, Poland  Co-production: Auracinematics Entertainment, India, * Period: Present * Main place of action: Africa from Morocco to Sudan * Genre: Full feature animated film  *Lengh: 80 minutes 


The beginning of winter. DUNKA is catching a train from her poor small harbor town to Warsaw, the massive city, neon-glowing in the snow. She is pursuing a well-paid job through an INTERMEDIARY on a tourist ferry out of Rotterdam. Believing that the world is wide-open, her only goal is money and a life of luxury. Dunka is a simple girl, raised in harsh conditions – she can fight without pity. The intermediary deal goes sour leaving Dunka alone on her way to work on a freighter out of Barcelona. While working hard in the kitchen on the ship ‘Vigor’, she fights for her respect and livelihood with the leader of the waitresses, the UKRAINIAN WIERA. One night, on the stormy sea, the "Vigor" comes across a shipwrecked boat illegally carrying African refugees to Europe. Dunka helps pull out dozens of survivors but many others have already drowned. Dunka is shocked - her father, a fisherman, also drowned at sea years ago. Dunka begins to care for the now motherless 7-year-old survivor, DAVID, who eventually becomes inseparably bonded to Dunka. Once docked in Morocco, while the refugees and David are taken away by police, Dunka meets French human rights activist and doctor, BASTIEN. Bastien makes a big impression on her. Dunka learns from him about the real problems and horrors that refugees Africa face. She ends up partying with Bastien and the activists at their organization headquarters.

Dunka and Bastien make love under the stars after a fun night of music and hash brings them closer. Afterwards Bastien insists that Dunka stay with him  taking care of David and pulling him out of the Moroccan prison, which Dunka says he can't do. She has to go back to her ship. Now upset and separated from Bastien, she falls asleep on the beach and misses her ships departure the next morning. Leaving all her possessions on the ship, Dunka only has a little bit of money and her phone in her pocket. Stranded, she befriends a local named Book who arranges a fake passport. She suddenly receives an SMS showing a photo of Bastien and David – together. Dunka returns to the headquarters to find it abandoned from a Police raid. She is accused of being the cause of the police raid - smoking hashish in Morocco is prohibited. Probably her conversations with Book supplanted the information allowing the raid. One activist, a Spanish girl named ANA, tells Dunka where Bastien is head. He is supposed to go to Wau in Sudan to a work in a hospital called Nazareth. Dunka receives a recommendation paper from Book to give to a smuggler in Dakar, Senegal. Before she leaves, Dunka sends a desperate email to Bastien about her plans to follow him.

Dunka then embarks on the trip through the Sahara to Senegal. During the first part of her trip Dunka travels through the Sahara with a Tuareg family and experiences a warm Muslim life before continuing her journey to Bastien. One of the girls in the family takes her yellow hijab off of her head, which Dunka loved so much, and wraps it around her head. After parting ways with the Tuareg family, Dunka continues her journey to Dakkar. While waiting with other Arab passengers in the sand at a train station in the Sahara, a rider on a camel approaches from the dunes accompanied by several small figures tightly wrapped in black hijabs. Dunka does not know it, but a war is quickly approaching the area. One of the small figures in a black hijab walks up to Dunka and opens one side of his hijab, exposing a machine gun. With the other hand he pulls up her yellow scarf over her face. Without hesitation the proud Dunka pulls his arm down and reaches and pulls his black scarf down his face. Shockingly the face is of a 10 year old Arab boy staring back into her eyes.

Dunka wakes up disoriented in a dark steel container in a Uganda mountain valley. She is hurt, with a bandage made of leaves on her head, neither understanding the reasons or the events which have brought her there. BIZIMINGU, a mute black sculptor takes care of her as time passes through the incessant rainy season. The container is full of wooden sculptures made by Bizimungu. At last she is able to stand up at the doorstep of the container and gives the sculptor the prize of a soft and light material – her body. They make love on the floor while Dunka imagines that she is making love with Bastien. The rainy season eventually ends. Bizimungu takes Dunka to a twisted aircraft wreck where he finds a Kalishnikov along with Dunka's yellow hijab. The view brings up a memory in Dunka’s head, the memory of what happened before she ended up in the steel container with Bizimungu.

(Reminiscene). Dunka gets off the train at the railway station in Dakar and heads for the airfield hangars looming in the distance. In the primitive hangar she deals with a group of hostile men, after some discussion and handing them the recommendation from Book, she gets permission for the flight. The Dakota transport aircraft is full of suspicious load and crew. During the flight the planes right engine bursts into flames, losing speed and altitude until it crashes on a valley slope, throwing it on its roof.

During the next gray morning, Bizimungu and Dunka head down the mountain to a wide beaten track which serves as a highway. People and clay houses appear, covered with straw in the rich greenery. Bizimungu is leading her towards the biggest hut where the chief will welcome them. Dunka finds out that Bizimungu is his oldest son who lost his tongue in Lagos and runs a lonely life far from the village. The chief calls SAULIUS, a befriended missionary to ask to help Dunka continue her journey. After a while Saulius arrives in his truck and takes Dunka to his mission. Dunka learns from him that she spent over a month with Bizimungu. At the mission post she finds a short email from Bastien in her inbox calling her ‘the most messed-up woman in the world’. While at the mission, Saulius falls ill from malaria, leaving her the key responsibility of caring for the orphaned children of the village. Dunka will take part in the funeral of a baby who died from malaria, which is a mixture of Christian and animistic rites. A Russian merchant who provides the mission with electronic devices tells Dunka about his acquaintances residing in Kisumu, at the hotel ‘Orchid’. They could find a job for Dunka without any difficulties.

After Sualius improves, Dunka takes a bus to Kisumu. She arrives and finds the filthy hotel ‘Orchid’ where the German HANS and the Russian JURIJ agree to find her a job on the tourist ferry running along the Victorian River from Uganda to Kenya and arrange a new passport for her. The ferry runs tourists regularly between Port Bell and Kisumu. They enjoy themselves while Dunka walks around with a tray from the deck to the kitchen serving guests directly to their rooms. The first attacks of fever foreshadow the upcoming malaria. One day Jurij tells Dunka to get to cabin 1a to find an envelope and take some documents out of it. Dunka refuses, but Jurij immediately becomes persistent. After she promises him to complete the task, Dunka finds out the passenger's identity, a Chinese woman, ZHANG ZIYI. When the Chinese woman appears, Dunka tells her about Jurij’s intentions. Zhang Ziyi becomes aggressive, grabs her cell phone and barres Dunka from exiting the cabin. After a while a coastguard motorboat approaches. WAN, a Chinese man, along with two armed Kenyans board the ship. They escort Dunka and Zhang Ziyi to the motorboat and ride away towards land.

Wan, staring out from the 15th floor of a skyscraper in Nairobi tells Dunka she will get a ticket for a plane to Frankfurt and will be able to send her back to Poland. But only after… Zhang opens a small suitcase with the logo of 'Friends of Sudan' and filled with money and a passport. Inside of it is Dunka’s new identity ‘Margareta Svobodowa’ - an employee of the charity organization 'Friends of Sudan'. Dunka receives instructions to take the money to the airport in Khartoum (Sudan) and leave the suitcase in 'Box 205' in the storage room. She is warned that she will be well observed. She grabs the two way ticket to Khartoum and heads out.

Nairobi airport. With Zhan Ziyi watching, Dunka enters passport control wearing European clothing. While sitting in the waiting area for the flight to Khartoum, a conversation starts between Dunka and a couple of employees from a few charity organizations waiting for a Cessna flying to Wau. The name shocks Dunka. It's the same place that Bastien was destined to go. At the last moment, Dunka dashes into the exit destined for Wau, mixing in with the crowd of charity workers. She leaves the bag of money behind, money now means nothing to her. Passing through the gate, Dunka stumbles - her body penetrated by chills.

Dunka walks through the oncoming dusk on a path leading from the airport towards the city of Wau. Some soldiers give her a ride the rest of the way. They go through the dark ruined town, full of bonfires and burned houses. Finally they get to the raw brick building of the Nazareth hospital. No one is there. Looking around helplessly she peers inside the building and decides to wait outside against the wall. To the sounds of shooting outside, she huddles underneath the building between the wall and the ground and falls into a deep sleep from exhaustion and sickness. A new beautiful day is born, a land rover pulls up and an outline of a man gets out of the car. Dunka's heart starts racing as her body struggles. She still doesn't believe it's real but her doubt and heart come to a stop when she hears the man’s voice calling: “David, come”. Bastien comes from behind the car while a young, strong black boy clambers out of the land rover’s seat with a wide smile.