15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Great Information But Not-So-Great Documentary,
This review is from: POV: Lost Boys of Sudan (DVD)For me, the thing that makes a documentary enjoyable is a.) Is the information new and engaging? and b.) Is it presented in a coherent and even-flowing fashion? On the first point, THE LOST BOYS OF SUDAN delivers. We get to hear about the little known religious war in Sudan that killed (and continues to kill) millions of people. Most of those that were murdered (let's call it what it is) were adults. And left behind are their children who flee to refugee camps. Tens of thousands of children made it to these tent cities where they've grown up or died. But a few of them are lucky enough to get access to America, and fly into Houston to become U.S. citizens. This documentary follows the lives of two of THE LOST BOYS and we get to see how leaving their native lands affects them, and how American culture clashes but ultimately enfolds them. Great information.
On point "b", though, the film gets a serious thumbs down. The editing was terrible, a patchwork quilt of events rather than a concise look at these boys' lives. The information was just too broad. They show us their struggle with grades, language, driving, sports, living together, paying rent, jobs, trying to find girlfriends, etc., etc., etc. I would've liked to have seen them focus on a select few items and get us into the microcosm of these issues. For instance, I would've enjoyed learning more about their struggles to get into schools while working at the same time. But all we get is one basic phone call that one of the boy's makes where he talks to family about this issue ...and that's it. We don't hear anymore about it. There were other instances in the film where similar things occurred, too (subjects brought up and then suddenly dropped.)
But even with these problems, the documentary is interesting and informative.
For truly excellent documentaries, though, try DARK DAYS or BORN INTO BROTHELS.
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Initial post: Aug 6, 2013 7:56:54 PM PDT
Kris Heywood says:
I totally disagree. This works as a documentary because it shows the boys' experience from their point of view. After a year of trying to fit in, they seem lonely, discouraged, and often hopeless. These are young boys needing families, yet there is not enough guidance, only a bunch of well-meaning people being insincere. When I saw the smile die in the boys' eyes, I knew things were very bad. When I saw them sitting alone, I realized how perverted it was for members of a society that lives in tribes. How sad is was to hear them say that in America a boy cannot hold the hand of another boy or else they will be accused of being homosexual, when in their own culture it's perfectly fine. This documentary should be called, "The Smile died in their Eyes." That said, I know for a fact that many lost boys did manage to go to college, get degrees, and set themselves up in this country. They not only sent money home but created foundations for building schools and hospitals in Southern Sudan. These are amazing accomplishments. I also loved the boy who drove without a license, failed the driving test, and then drove away in his own car. Somebody should have told the grader that when this boy was very small he walked four thousand miles through water-less desert, avoiding lions, snakes, and enemy soldiers, and cheating death over and over again, so perhaps he really DID have what it takes to drive a car.
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