Sunday, November 16, 2008

Darfur Now

On Friday night, the local university hosted an evening focused on the genocide in Darfur. After a skit and a couple technical difficulties, we watched Darfur Now, a documentary that shares the stories of six activists working to improve the situation in western Sudan. ACTION, the student group sponsoring the event, has attended protests at a certain Chinese embassy in the past.

Showing six different perspectives on the issue was a useful technique. It gives viewers more options for engaging the film, since we tend to project ourselves into the story. Who do I relate to more--the celebrity, the hometown activist getting signatures, the lawyer, the NGO administrator, the local leader, the woman who joined the revolution? Which one is an example of how I can get involved? It shows that we can each play a role, regardless of who we are. And it helps us see how tragedies affect different people.

After the movie, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan shared parts of his story of fleeing for his life. There are two "Lost Boys" attending the university here. Now I'd like to see the original film.

Having read Darfur Diaries, it was interesting to see the footage and add a visual element to the story. For me, seeing the people and places makes it so much more real.

My life has been so easy. Signing the petition after the film seemed so trite, so shallow compared to the need.

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