Idol Chatter

Lost-boys_idol.jpgBecause I needed a serious attitude check this week, I perused the video store looking for something that would make me realize that whining about my personal circumstances is really petty. That’s when I discovered the critically acclaimed but hard-to-find documentary “God Grew Tired Of Us,” which was just released on DVD. It’s a moving portrait of the journey of three young Sudanese men, who had to flee their homes (along with thousands of other refugees) when war between the Muslim northern territory and the Christian southern territory broke out.
“God Grew Tired Of Us” is a touching and sometimes humorous film that still raises questions about the plight of those left behind. For making me feel humble as well as grateful, it is my DVD pick of the week.

John, Daniel, and Panther survive an unbelievably arduous 1,000 mile trip across the Sudanese wilderness until they arrive at a United Nations refugee camp in Kenya, where they spend several years waiting to be reunited with family or to be able to leave the camp for some place better. When they finally are allowed to travel to the U.S., they must adjust to a world where the simplest tasks–grocery shopping, washing dishes, or taking a shower–can seem daunting.
They deal with the guilt of living a relatively comfortable life while others back in the camps are still suffering. They must also wrestle with just how much of their culture to hang on to in America, as they long to reconnect with family members who they were separated from during the civil war.
Some critics have pointed to what they see as a rather superficial look at the political situation in Sudan and a glossing over of deeper questions, but I think that politics is not really what this documentary is about. While watching this film most definitely reinforced the belief that God is tired of the horrendous work done in His name, this movie is still a hopeful one that focuses on the bonds of family, faith, and personal responsibility.
Even the Lost Boys don’t make the tragedy of Sudan as political as you would think. One of them simply says that the problems in his country continue because the leaders there “don’t know how to treat people well”–because no one has ever taught them. He wants to return to Sudan so he can help raise future leaders who will know how to treat all of his countrymen well.
Such a simple idea that is so complicated to carry out. But if the Lost Boys haven’t given up hope, the movie reminds that we shouldn’t either.
To watch a clip from “God Grew Tired of Us,” click here.

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