After WWII, my grandfather and grandmother moved to Khartoum in what is now Sudan. My aunt was born there but they left before my mother came into the world. My grandfather often told me that political tensions were already rising when he left, but he isn’t one for talking details about these things. I’ve always been quite intrigued (and often disturbed) by what has and is happening in Sudan.
When Bich Ngoc Cao told me that i absolutely must see The Devil Came on Horseback, i decided to take a break from my current state of workaholicism to see it. Her recommendations are usually spot on and this film is mind-blowing. I knew of the atrocities in Darfur, but this film does an astounding job of really personalizing the stories of the people involved. It’s deeply disturbing, showing the horrifying images of genocide through the lens of an American Marine Captain who is assigned to document the lives of but not protect the people of Darfur. At one point, he can no longer sit by and watch and so he returns home to the States to rally American politicians. He figures that if they just knew, they would be in there to stop it. Or if the American people just knew, they would make their government do something. As we know, the tragedy in Darfur continues.
On top of the amazing depiction of what is taking place, there’s a simple message: raise a fuss, contact your politicians, make them know that you care and that you want them to do something. I am trying to convince myself to believe this could work, although i admit that i’m feeling very disillusioned with our political structure. Still, i do believe that it is important for the American people to understand what is taking place there. This is genocide and it is horrific. People are being brutally murdered because they are of the wrong race. The women are raped and tortured and people are burned alive. And, just like with Rwanda, we have turned a blind eye while China continues to fund this atrocity. I really recommend checking out this movie when it comes to your town (currently, it seems to be on the film festival circuit). Also, check out Save Darfur for more information on what’s happening in Darfur.