Lost Boys of Sudan
, which premiered on PBS's P.O.V.
series in 2003, is a gripping documentary about young refugees from the Sudanese conflict as well as a moving story of survival and acclimation in a strange and daunting land. The film centers around two young Dinka tribesmen who must flee a vicious civil war in their homeland and risk thirst, starvation, and animal attack to reach refugee camps thousands of miles away in Kenya in Ethiopia. Once there, the "lost boys'" journey begins again, as they are resettled in Houston, Texas, and must start new lives in a completely alien country. Eventually, their adjustment to 21st century life becomes the film's main focus; can they join American society and still retain their tribal connections? Told in simple but powerful images, Lost Boys of Sudan
affectingly addresses themes of home, acceptance, family, and what it means to be a member of society-both America and the global community. --Paul Gaita
Winner of an Independent Spirit Award and named Best Documentary at the San Francisco International Film Festival, LOST BOYS OF SUDAN follows two teenage Sudanese refugees on an extraordinary journey from Africa to America, offering a gripping and sobering peek into the myth of the American Dream. In the late 80s, Islamic fundamentalists in Sudan waged war on the countrys separatists, leaving behind over 20,000 male orphans, otherwise known as "lost boys." For those who survived this traumatic ordeal and found their way to refugee camps, som were chosen to participate in a resettlement program in America--a distant place so presumably full of hope and opportunity that the Sudanese sometimes call it Heaven. But what if a free ticket to "Heaven" turned out to be anything but? Sidestepping conventional voice-over narration in favor of real-time, close-quarters poignancy, LOST BOYS OF SUDAN focuses on Santino and Peter, members of the Dinka tribe, during their first life-altering year in the United States. Safe at last from physical danger--but a world away from home--the boys must grapple with extreme cultural differences as they come to understand both the abundance and alienation of contemporary American life.