Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Culture shock

By Edward Copeland
Perhaps I was expecting something different from the documentary God Grew Tired of Us. I knew going in it concerned the tragic suffering of the people in Sudan, a story that seems to be getting more attention, especially in light of the Darfur genocide, but still not enough in my opinion.

God Grew Tired of Us focuses on the plight of a group of Sudanese refugees called the Lost Boys, victims of the country's civil war between its Arab Muslim population and its native African ones, often Christians.

The refugees bounced between camps in neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia and back again before a lucky few got the chance to relocate to the United States for a new chance. There are some amusing fish-out-of water moments as the Sudanese refugees adjust to culture shock — many had never used electricity and wonder about the limit of one wife per man.

There are funny bits where they find airplane food not as good as the scraps they had to scrape together in camps and when they first visit an American supermarket.

The main focus is on John Bul Dau, who seeks not only to better himself but to help those he's left behind in his war-torn country. While much of the film is interesting and occasionally moving, after awhile it proves repetitive.

Granted, it's difficult to get accurate reports out of Sudan, but it seems that is the story that really needs to be told. Watching these men find a new chance and a shot at the American dream isn't as inspiring as it should be. It's good, but not great.

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