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Darfur Now

18 customer reviews

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(May 27, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Making a difference. Now. This acclaimed, inspiring documentary follows six people who are striving to end the suffering in Sudan’s war-ravaged Darfur. The six – an American activist, an international prosecutor, a Sudanese rebel, a sheikh, a leader of the World Food Program, and Don Cheadle, who traverses the globe with fellow actor George Clooney to pressure world leaders – demonstrate the power of one individual to make extraordinary changes. Be an eyewitness to the tragedy and the triumphs, the fear and the pride. Meet the refugees, determined to return to their beloved homeland. And discover how you too can make a difference.

Hard to watch but impossible to turn away from, Darfur Now aims to educate, illuminate, and, most of all, motivate viewers to somehow get involved in bringing the calamitous situation in that African land to an end. Some basic facts are provided at the beginning of writer-director Theodore Braun’s 98-minute documentary: Located in western Sudan, Darfur, a region about the size of France with a population of six million, has been in a state of severe crisis since 2003, when non-Arabs rebelled against the Muslim government. Working in tandem with the dread Janjaweed (literally "devils on horseback") to wipe out the rebels, military forces have enacted a relentless and systematic genocide that has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths, with millions more displaced. The film then focuses on six individuals and their roles in the conflict. Luis Moreno-Ocampo, prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, works to collect evidence to use against the Sudanese authorities; Adam Sterling, a young American enraged by the lack of world response to the crisis, campaigns in California to pass legislation to force companies with interests in Sudan to divest; Pablo Recalde of the West Darfur World Food Program strives to provide food and save lives; Ahmed Mohammad Abakar, chief sheikh at a camp for displaced persons in Darfur, tries to rally his people; Hejewa Adam, a female rebel, trains to fight the Janjaweed; and actor-author Don Cheadle uses his celebrity (as well as George Clooney's) to raise public and official awareness of the situation. (The Sudanese government is represented by its U.N. ambassador, an unctuous individual who complains that the West has "over-dramatized" the situation.) These efforts are not without their successes: Sterling gets his bill passed, Recalde's food gets distributed, and Ocampo brings charges against two Sudanese officials (a largely hollow gesture, as the government refuses to surrender them). Beautifully filmed and edited, with multiple stories taking place on several fronts, Darfur Now plays more like a fictional drama than a documentary. But it's all too real, of course. "We must be patient until the white people come," says one of the rebels. It’s a poignant, slightly pathetic statement, but unless that happens, this story will have no happy ending. --Sam Graham

Special Features

  • Introduction and commentary by writer-director Theodore Braun
  • Additional scenes

Product Details

  • Actors: Nimeri Issa, Jason Miller (XXV), Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem Mohamad, Sam Brownback, Asha Abdal Khaleeq
  • Directors: Ted Braun
  • Format: Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 27, 2008
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0015XHR6G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,056 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Darfur Now" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Daniel B. Clendenin on July 28, 2008
Format: DVD
The Darfur region of Sudan is an area the size of France with about six million people from a hundred tribes. The Sudanese government of president Omar al-Bashir has backed the Janjaweed militias to plunder, pillage, rape women of every age, and liquidate entire villages. According to the United Nations, 400,000 people have died, and over 2 million have been displaced (many refugees pouring into Chad). This documentary takes you to Darfur and introduces you to people who experienced these atrocities; but the film is really about six very different people and what they are doing to stop the genocide -- Argentinian Luis Moreno, prosecutor for the International Criminal Court in the Hague; American Adam Sterling, co-founder of the Sudan Divestment Task Force; Chief Sheikh Ahmed Mohammed Abakar of the Hamadea Displaced Persons Camp; actor Don Cheadle; World Food Program officer Pablo Recalde; and Hejewa Adam, a woman rebel of the Sudanese Liberation Movement. "Our problems have no limits," said one Darfurian.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Roland E. Zwick on February 19, 2010
Format: DVD
Since 2003, the people of Darfur - mainly tribal blacks - have been undergoing a systematic genocide at the hands of the largely Arab-run government of Sudan (Darfur being a western region of that nation). The UN has estimated that, as of 2007, 200,000 residents of Darfur have been slaughtered and 2.5 million more displaced from their homes and forced to flee to refugee camps both inside Darfur and in neighboring countries.

The must-see documentary "Darfur Now" focuses on six specific individuals who have chosen to make a difference in the world. Adam Sterling, co-founder of Sudan Divestment Task Force, is a young activist from Los Angeles who spends his time not only trying to raise public awareness of the atrocities taking place in that part of the world but also lobbying the California legislature and governor to get oil companies to stop funding the Sudanese government. Luis Moreno-Ocampo is a prosecutor for the International Criminal Court whose job it is to build a case against the Sudanese government officials in order to bring them to justice in The Hague. Ahmed Mohammad Abakar is the Chief Sheikh of the Hamadea Displaced Persons Camp. Don Cheadle ("Hotel Rwanda") is, of course, a well-known movie star and author who has met with a number of world leaders on the issue. Pablo Recalde is a humanitarian who delivers food to people in the refugee camps, often at great personal risk to himself and those who work with him. And, finally, Hejewa Adam is a rebel for the Sudan Liberation Movement, a group dedicated to fighting back against the killers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul A. Spangler on September 4, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This highlights the cause and the people who are helping that cause of Darfur. I hope this opens people's eyes to the real problems in Sudan. Cheers for those who are out to publish truth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sinead Summer on May 5, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Genocide is an issue that has angered and frustrated so many people. This film while exploring something seemingly so hopeless and so bleak in its subject matter shows that a great deal of involvement must take place in order to implement even the smallest of changes. I think this film should be required viewing for all of humanity. Ive seen several documentaries about genocide taking place currently and it makes me very angry. To think that even though the united states and other powerful nations have horrible genocides from the past to learn from, it astounds me how nothing ever changes. When people get involved they take on an incredible responsibility that can last many years and get them only another few feet forward in the war against genocide. One thing I learned from this film is that when movie stars become embassadors toward peace when the elected officials of their own country should be doing this is sickens me to the heart. To see those citizens of Sudan who are raped, tortured, burned, and driven from thier homes learning of the efforts of a few selfless people working hard together to create change, and these helpless people see them as saviors when they do so little is truly heartbreaking. By the end of this film so much work done by these determined individuals only results in so little being done about it, it makes me so frustrated. I begin thinking What can I do to help Maybe I should purchase a one way to ticket to Darfur, pick up an ak-47, and stand side by side with these brave women and men who have suffered unspeakable horrors and help fight the injustice. Maybe if 500,000 of us average americans were willing to do this maybe something truly significant could be done to stop to senseless horrors going on over there. It seems the work done through diplomatic channels isnt solving the problem, but something must be done. Am I willing to do what ever it takes even if it means my own life? Someone has to do it, so why not me. Why not you?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Pellerine on November 12, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a DVD on Genocide this is currently a bargain. The documentary can be used for educational purposes, to provide a background into Darfur, to build a background understanding on genocide, and to provoke thought regarding the mismanagement the political superpowers of today exercise.

The world was told, the world knew, the world mostly watched, and serious issues in the region go unresolved today. Sometimes I question the sanity of our species and this movie made me reflect this way once again.

If you are very keen on understanding human rights issues/genocide I also recommend The History and Sociology of Genocide: Analyses and Case Studies.
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