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Lost Boys of Sudan

Santino Majok Chuor , Jarrid Geduld , Jon Shenk , Megan Mylan    Unrated   DVD

Price: CDN$ 98.49
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some Sudanese boys' view of America. Fascinating! Nov. 13 2004
By Linda Linguvic - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
The young boys of the Dinka tribe in the Sudan herd goats. That's why they were not in their village when the murderers came in the early 1990s. They had to flee. It was a long and harrowing journey with little food. Many of them died. And yet many managed to cross the river to Kenya and make their way to the refugee camps.

Ten years later, they had grown to young manhood, sharing a sense of family with the other refugees. In 2001, sponsored by various Christian groups, 4000 of these boys came to the United States. This is that story.

We meet them first in the refugee camp where they hope to be chosen to come to America. Then we see them on the big airplane. A half dozen are sent to Houston. Others are sent to Kansas City and a other states. We watch them learn to cook on an electric stove, shop in the supermarket, and attend church services. They stand out, even among African Americans because their skin is almost coal black.

One of the boys in Houston gets a job in a factory. He sends money back home and also buys a car, which he needs to get to work. We watch him take his driver's test, fail it, and then receive tickets for driving without a license. His small salary also pays the rent.

One of the boys goes to Kansas. Here he enters High School as a junior. We see him among his (mostly white) classmates and see him try to make friends. He tries out for the basketball team, goes to parties and feels lonely all the time as he is so very different from those around him.

We see all the boys meet at a YWCA summer camp, where they go swimming, sing songs from their homeland and share stories about America. They were all surprised how hard it is to work and go to school and pay the rent. It is especially hard because they do not have families and are completely on their own.

This film really succeeded in showing me America through the eyes of these Sudanese boys. They all work hard and are pursuing the American dream. And they miss their homeland too.

I found this film fascinating. Don't miss it!
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Information But Not-So-Great Documentary Sept. 21 2005
By B. Merritt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
For me, the thing that makes a documentary enjoyable is a.) Is the information new and engaging? and b.) Is it presented in a coherent and even-flowing fashion? On the first point, THE LOST BOYS OF SUDAN delivers. We get to hear about the little known religious war in Sudan that killed (and continues to kill) millions of people. Most of those that were murdered (let's call it what it is) were adults. And left behind are their children who flee to refugee camps. Tens of thousands of children made it to these tent cities where they've grown up or died. But a few of them are lucky enough to get access to America, and fly into Houston to become U.S. citizens. This documentary follows the lives of two of THE LOST BOYS and we get to see how leaving their native lands affects them, and how American culture clashes but ultimately enfolds them. Great information.

On point "b", though, the film gets a serious thumbs down. The editing was terrible, a patchwork quilt of events rather than a concise look at these boys' lives. The information was just too broad. They show us their struggle with grades, language, driving, sports, living together, paying rent, jobs, trying to find girlfriends, etc., etc., etc. I would've liked to have seen them focus on a select few items and get us into the microcosm of these issues. For instance, I would've enjoyed learning more about their struggles to get into schools while working at the same time. But all we get is one basic phone call that one of the boy's makes where he talks to family about this issue ...and that's it. We don't hear anymore about it. There were other instances in the film where similar things occurred, too (subjects brought up and then suddenly dropped.)

But even with these problems, the documentary is interesting and informative.

For truly excellent documentaries, though, try DARK DAYS or BORN INTO BROTHELS.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars powerful and compelling documentary...... Jan. 15 2006
By D. Pawl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
For anyone unfamiliar with the plight of the numerous lost boys of Sudan, I really reccomend you check out this powerful, compelling, cautionary and very educational film, that looks at two young men who made it out of the turbulence of their country and were able to make a life for themselves in the United States. The Lost Boys consist of some 200,000 (or more) young Sudanese refugees, orphaned, left orphaned and alone in the African nation of Sudan. One connection out of the poverty and desolation of their country, is if they are able to obtain sponsorship through church-based programs in the United States. The two boys profiled in this film were recipients of this sponsorship.

While one journeys to Texas, to seek out work, buy a car and also attend classes at the local high school, the other's journey takes him to a small (predominantly Caucasian) town in Kansas, who attempts to integrate himself into a foreign, and a culture for which he finds himself, both, daunted and isolated.

I believe everyone should see this film, and, in fact, I think it should be implemented in the high school curriculum as a pre-requisite for all students. It is important that we all receive an education in the personal struggles of refugees, like these two young men. This film only scratches the surface, into this subject matter. There are so many important stories, like this, that need to be told!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the only true dvd you will find on sudanese refugees Jan. 5 2005
By Kristen Benevides - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
A FABULOUS INSIGHT! A SPECTACULAR FIND!

i am a realist in terms of movies, and i prefer documentaries and foreign (as opposed to u.s.), films. this provides me with more rounded experience and insight into the world than the fiction-told stories of movies made in america. this movie was a chance find since i had a gift card to a store nearby.

the sudanese refugees have a heartfelt story to be told, and fortunately some folks from cali decided it should be shown by following around two main characters who are refugees of the dinka tribe from sudan. a group of boys were granted refuge in america, and they were followed and filmed for the first yr they were here. the films shows you the problems refugees face when given sanctuary in america. lots of people may think its wonderful and they should be thrilled to be given this opportunity but i guarentee after watching this you will be wondering whether they are actually better off here or back in sudan. of course some of the basic necessities that we have in america as opposed to what they were used to in the refugee camp in kenya may be an improvement in their lives, but the struggle to have and keep these basics is extremely difficult, when you dont speak the language very well, are not accostomed to the society, people, habits, and culture of america. prime difficulties were interaction with others, as one character was in kansas city where he stuck out horribly among the mainly white folks of the area, and how he made friends, was able to attend school, and find employment, though occasionally being discriminated against. the other character stayed in houston, where he found the black people there were much lighter skinned than he was and he did not feel comfortable when going out, because of feeling like he was constantly being stared at by anyone and everyone for his differences.

this is a fabulous film and should be watched and reviewed by more than just me and the other person who reveiwed it, who also gave it 5 stars.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Informational Tool, Subtitle Malfunction July 5 2006
By OutsideJob - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This film provides a great informational tool about the struggles and opportunities of refugees trying to make it on their own in a new place. As a history teacher, I am excited to show this to my class to demonstrate assimilation and acculturization. My one problem, and this is a big problem, is that a great deal of the subtitles go way off of the TV. This made seeing what they were saying difficult. I couldn't even see the information at the end. I have a pretty big TV, so I'm sure that this might be a persistent problem. Also, the deleted scenes have no subtitles. But all in all, this is a great glimpse of their lives. The most eye-opening is the tension between African Americans and the Africans. Ironically, the boys from Africa got along better with their white friends than the African Americans. Also interesting is the "help" the church tried to give. They keep delivering all of this furniture to the boys' tiny apartment, yet the lady from the church (who looks just like actress Shelly Long) virtually ignores their pleas for help in finding jobs and educational opportunities. She walks away from them and says "They're angry"

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