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God Grew Tired of Us

The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan

Three Sudanese men struggle to adjust to life in the United States -- from their perspective, a very strange place -- in this affecting and well-made culture-shock documentary.The central figures are members of the "Lost Boys" of Sudan, tens of thousands of young men separated from their families, who oftentimes were murdered, during that nation's horrific civil war.The beginning of the film (which won the Documentary Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at last year's Sundance festival), recounts the refugees' hardships, from starvation to disease to attacks by wild animals. Many of the youngsters didn't know if their parents and siblings were dead or alive. One of the three men profiled, John Bul Dau, because he is unusually tall, was selected at age 13 to be a kind of captain to a group of the Lost Boys that he numbers at 1,200.As Dau and the two others (Panther Bior and Daniel Pach) travel to America, the film changes tone. How out of place are these men in their new homes? They have to be instructed how to use a light switch, and puzzle over a doughnut: "Is this food?" They see images of Santa Claus on TV and try to figure out his connection to the birth of Jesus. They take a shot at ice-skating. There's a certain amount of humor in all this, but the filmmakers are always respectful of their subjects, who are never objectified.There's some star power behind this documentary: It's narrated by Nicole Kidman, and Brad Pitt is listed as executive producer. But this crisply directed and edited picture never condescends to its subjects or reduces them to stick figures in a political screed. Walter Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle
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Directed by: 
Christopher Dillon Quinn, Tommy Walker
Running Time: 
John Dau, Nicole Kidman, Daniel Abul Pach
Screenplay by: 
Christopher Dillon Quinn

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