Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Movie Review- God Grew Tired of Us

God Grew Tired of Us is the story of three men who were part of the Lost boys of Sudan. The Lost Boys of Sudan area group of over 27,000 men who were driven out of southern Sudan in 1987 due to civil war. After many years as refugees, approximately 3800 of them were given the opportunity to come to the U.S. to have new opportunities. This film profiles three of the men, but in talking about these three men it is a great case study all of those who cam to the U.S. The film begins with some history on the Lost Boys and their having to travel, first to Ethiopia and then later to Kenya where they had been living for about 10 years when they left for the U.S. We see some of the refugee camp life and the ways in which this large band of peoples, mostly male have become a large family as they have struggled to survive. The movie then goes on to show the mixed emotions that the men who get to leave are feeling, sadness in having to leave their home and their family, but also excitement to begin something new and maybe not have to starve and struggle for food as much. The rest of the film, about an hour, shows the adjustment of the men to the U.S. from learning about running water and electricity to having to get a job or go to college. We experience the joys and struggles of these men as they adjust to a life that is so different than what they were used to. We also get to see toward the end of the film one of the boys reunited with his mother who he had not seen in seventeen years.

The film is incredibly powerful in he range of emotions you go through, watching them at the supermarket right after they have come to the U.S. is really funny and also interesting. The struggles they have as they adjust to living in much more isolating conditions for them. As one of the men comment at one point that he was so used to living with a lot of people that the three other Sudanese who are living with him are not enough. Many of them discuss the importance of family and community relationships. They struggle with the ways in which they feel isolated from each other as they have to work two and three jobs at times, thus giving them no time to socialize with each other. They also comment on how unfriendly Americans are and how they seem to be more isolated from each other than the Sudanese or at least in the refugee camps they were used to. The ending where one of the individuals is now reunited with his mom is very powerful along with one of the other men going back to Africa to marry and then return with his bride. There are times at which this is a hard film to watch, but it is also a film that needs to be shown in schools so that children can realize how truly lucky they are to live here in the U.S.

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