In 2006, a former US Marine captain, Brian Steidle, joined the African Union peacekeepers in western Sudan province of Dafur, ostensibly to stop the genocide committed there by the Janjaweed militia. He is shaken and awed by devastation wrought in that war torn land where 400000 lives were lost and he tells their story in "The Devil Came on Horseback."
We have seen other documentaries about the trials and tribulations of the people of Sudan under the yoke of government repression. "The Lost Boys of Sudan" and "God Grew Tired of Us" followed the lives of young men who escaped the modern day holocaust. "The Devil Came on Horseback" centers on the atrocities taking place in Sudan as the Arab-dominated government inflicts its genocide on the black population.
Brian Steidle photographs and videotapes the lethal results of the Sudanese genocide. The experience changed the man forever and he quit his job with the peacekeepers. He made it his mission to bring to light to the American people just what is going on half a world away. Although he earned low-level public interest in the plight of the Dafur people, the real shakers and movers - the US government and the UN - pay lip service to Steidle's plea for rescue. Their real efforts to end the atrocities are considerably less than effective.
Documentarians Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg, using the ex-Marines photos and video footage, tell us about Brian Steidle's mission to bring world opinion to bear on the Sudan government. The work is a straightforward doc that uses the former Marine's photo journal, interviews with survivors of the genocide in Darfur province and Steidle's multi-city tour to bring the word to America to tell his and the Sudanese people's story. It is a moving and sometimes gut wrenching account of this latest holocaust. But, with so much focus on Iraq, this fine documentary may fall by the wayside. I give it a B.Laura:
Laura also gives "The Devil Came on Horseback" a B.
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