Amazing film: you will not walk away unaffected.
B. T. Denyer | Midwest, United States | 09/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just saw this movie at Webster University in St. Louis and can't believe it is not playing in mainstream theaters across the country. It is a well crafted documentary that deserves wide spread availability.
This film is Brian's photographs, video, audio recordings, and emails from his time in Sudan as an investigator in the cease fire agreement and his return visit to Chad. The images in the film are nothing short of shocking, graphic and deeply disturbing on a level I never knew existed. If you think you "know" about the situation in Darfur, you haven't seen anything until you sit through 85 minutes of systematic genocide, rape, torture, and mutilation.
This film is Brian's personal account of the atrocities of the Sudanese government (whom is Arab), and its calculated genocide toward the black Africans within its borders. It even goes after those that have fled to neighboring Chad.
But it isn't just Brian showing you a picture and saying 'See, bad things are happening here.' He explains the recent historical highlights of Sudan and its government, the presence of China and its oil pipeline, the Russian and Chinese supplied weapons, the Janjaweed's relation to the government of Sudan, the Sudan Liberation Movement, and other players. You get to see the reaction he received upon his return to America: how the State Department asked him NOT to show his pictures (!); how the Sudanese government sent out people to speak against him; how the New York Times helped give him a voice and get his pictures out to the public.
Excellent production, editing and camera work. I would have liked to have heard some of the politicians speak on the topic. And possibly some more on the links between Sudan, China, Russia and Saudi Arabia, and how they are all in bed with each other. It was briefly discussed how China is heavily dependent on Sudan's oil, but does not explain the fact that they need massive amounts of oil in order to supply the U.S. (among other countries) with goods. Though, I guess that this could all be summed up in a documentary of equal length by itself.
The situation in Darfur, Sudan is a complex and dirty situation that can go on for decades. I didn't expect an 85 minute documentary to cover it all, but it does an excellent job of getting the word out that the Sudanese government is committing widespread genocide.
I hope you all get a chance to see it: you will not be disappointed; you will not walk away unaffected."
A Call to Action
MES-DocTheology | Rochester, MN | 11/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We shared this video during this past summer preview (2007) for the Rochester, MN community. I am thrilled to see it out for mass distribution. For every family with kids (and especially with College Students) I recommend this video as a gift. Make it a gift you give to every student who is deciding what to do with their life after graduation or still "undecided" in their major. For a family, the film can be a bit graphic with war death (but death is only shown in still photography so it is not that shocking to children). But we can no longer afford to shield children from the truth.
When we showed it to our community we packed out the auditorium and over the weeks that followed people chose from about 7 different ways to get involved in Darfur including water wells, building schools, solar ovens and thousands upon thousands of dollars for use by the foundations and NGOs in Darfur. The intriguing part of the film is the author's wisdom about dealing with "post-genocide" and to explore this issue the author and his sister traveled to Rwanda to discover how to help a country and people groups when the war has ended.
This year is an award winning year for video production. I would recommend to Amazon and any family to buy two videos this year and to watch them with neighbors, friends, co-workers, church friends, and more. The videos would be "The Devil Came on Horseback" and "Amazing Grace: The Story of William Wilberforce." This is a set of videos to sit with your kids, to watch and to discuss. America has enough doctors, lawyers, aid workers and more...challenge your kids to study and learn and to give their life overseas."
A Real-Eye Opener
S. Navarro Shively | Los Angeles, CA | 09/25/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I didn't know very much about the genocide in Darfur until I saw this movie. It changed my life.
The film follows the sedate and kind Brian Steidle as he documented the atrocities done by the Sudanese government to the ethnic African Sudanese. I was so moved by Brian's determination to bring this issue to the American consiousness, his sense of guilt for not preventing the genocide (when he had the "chance" to eliminate a Janjaweed caravan in the beginning), and the Sudanese people who are so grateful for what Americans are doing for them.
It is an excellent film: shot well, includes lots of facts, statistics, and interviews with the Sudanese refugees and Janjaweed members, and features first-hand photos that Brian took. I can't wait to receive my copy and share this issue with everyone I know."
Jason | Backwater, Alabama | 05/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Former Marine Captain Brian Steidle got a job in 2004 without much prior knowledge to monitor the ceasefire in Darfur for the African Union. Little did he know he would be walking into one of the biggest human rights travesties in recent history.
After two decades of war, a cease-fire in Darfur is not being followed. The present-day Muslim government restricts Darfur development, and the only hope the black Africans have is two meagerly supplied rag-tag armies (Sudanese Liberation Army and Justice and Equality Movement). Unfortunately for the black Africans, they are up against the Janjaweed, a government trained, supplied, and supported militia that raids the villages in Darfur and is responsible for the majority of the crimes. Janjaweed, which literally translates as "Devil on Horse", get paid in loot; in other words, they get what they steal, pillage, and plunder. They take more than material possessions, also taking the purity of females, and the hearts of villagers via the destruction of daily life.
Where this story gets even more nefarious is when the details of the oil deal with China are uncovered. Not only is China refining the majority of the oil in Darfur, they are also the means by which the Muslim-led government gets the funding to continue the suppression of black Africans, continuing to flout the cease-fire's mandates.
Through Steidle's photographs, movies, stories, first-hand knowledge, and perserverance, this message has been given a larger stage than it ever would have previously. Hopefully, this is just the first step towards awareness."