God Grew Tired Of Us
Some of the Sudanese Lost Boys board a plane to begin their journey to America.

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Best Documentary

Theatrical Release Date: 01/12/2007
Directors: Christopher Dillon Quinn & Tommy Walker
Featuring: John Dau, Daniel Abul Pach, Panther Blor, Nicole Kidman (narrator)

Showing in limited release around the U.S. right now is the documentary “God Grew Tired Of Us”.

It is the story of The Lost Boys, tens of thousands of boys who fled Sudan as its civil war raged on and the Sudanese north vowed to kill or sterilize all non-Muslim males.

As told in the documentary, these boys, often ranging in age from 5 to 13 years old, walked for over a thousand miles to escape persecution. It is a gut-wrenching tale and one we all wish didn’t have to be told in this day and age.

After finally settling in Kenya, some of the boys are eventually granted resettlement to the United States. The film follows some of them over the course of upwards of three years, from leaving the refugee camp to arriving in the States to gaining self-sufficiency and more.

The central focus is placed on John Dau, Daniel Abul Pach and Panther Blor. Each of them and their fellow refugees are shown the differences in life between that of a cattle herder and a factory worker, between life in a third world and first world country, and between that of an African and an American.

The directors expertly wove their stories together, also presenting the horrific ordeal all of the boys went through just to survive.

To narrate their plight, Nicole Kidman (a former goodwill U.N. ambassador) ably tells their tale. While I’m not a big fan of her as an actress, she does a wonderful job here being informative without being obtrusive or intonating too much.

That is part of what makes this documentary so special. While this could easily have become something saccharine and ended up looking like a Sally Struthers commercial, the film simply presents the reality of things.

This documentary just puts up the images and words of the people involved and lets the audience understand the cruelty of the situation. We aren’t led in a direction, we’re present to react to it.

That is what documentaries should do, and so often of late, they fail in that regard (“An Inconvenient Truth” anyone? Wow, I’m almost feeling bad hitting that film as hard as I have but it’s the best example right now.)

“God Grew Tired Of Us” isn’t just a great documentary, it’s an absolutely necessary one. I implore everyone who reads this to get to the independent theater that’s showing it. I don’t care if you have to drive an hour away. Make it a trip and see some friends while you’re there … and take them with you.

This is a tale of the human spirit and how much people can endure. So many of us are lucky to live in a situation where a flat tire ruins your entire day.

That pales in comparison to watching your parents murdered and having to take care of dozens of little children because you’re the tallest or have reached the ripe old age of 11.

I know that’s trite and we all understand this but sometimes it’s good to be reminded. So get out there and find this film. If you really can’t find it, add it to your Netflix queue right now.

I’m giving “God Grew Tired Of Us” a 5 out of 5 and it’s going to take one hell of an effort to dethrone this from Best Documentary of The Year.