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Movie Review: Darfur Now

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This insightful film documents the violence in Darfur, Sudan which spreads over the border to Chad and the central African Republic. In Chad, the Janjaweed were accused of incursions and attacks. The points of view of six different people are examined and they are given a platform to explain their views on peace-keeping, humanitarian intervention, conflict intervention, the United Nations, and the International Criminal Court.

These six individuals are each experiencing the conflict in different ways. While their separate struggles are unique, their stories all point to an immediate resolution. Each story serves as inspiration for everyday people to become involved in ending this genocide.

Adam Sterling is a 24-year-old Jewish UCLA student who reflects on his grandmother who fled Nazi Germany. Despite his youth and inexperience in politics, he works to get a bill passed that will keep California's state funds out of Sudan.

A once respected builder and farmer in Darfur, Ahmed Mohammed Abakar fled his home and now lives in Hamadea camp with 47,000 other displaced Darfurians. He leads the people of his camp, keeping order and navigating international aid agencies. At the same time he commands a group that protects the camp from hostile local authorities, corruption, and the threat of attack by militias.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, hopes of achieving justice for the people of Darfur. At the request of the U.N.'s Security Council, he launches investigations into horrifying crimes and secures arrest warrants against Sudanese officials and Janjaweed militia leaders.

The next individual in this film is Academy Award-nominated actor Don Cheadle, who first learned about this situation in Darfur while working on the film Hotel Rwanda. He was inspired to use his celebrity status to bring to light the critical issues of the Sudan. He travels with fellow actor George Clooney to pressure U.S. government officials and world leaders to act on the mass murders and injustices.

Pablo Recalde is a man who is socially and politically aware of the issues of the impovished people of the world and has dedicated himself to improving the lives of those people. He left his wife and children in Ecuador to become the leader of the World Food Program in West Darfur. He mobilizes massive convoys to deliver food to the suffering people even with the threat of highjackings, terrorist attacks and the never-ending civil war.

The last person on this list is Hejewa Adam, a mother who had her three-month-old son beaten to death while carrying him on her back as she was fleeing from Janjaweed militia and government forces. She faces two choices – abandon her home forever or join the rebels to bring justice and peace back to her homeland. Her decision is to join the rebels and fight.

In addition to these six people, the film also features His Excellency Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem Mohamed, Sudan's Ambassador to the U.N. in New York. He is a career diplomat who states that his government in Sudan is not being fairly portrayed in the eyes of the world. He denies and neglects the atrocities.

The purpose of this film is to raise awareness in the world of the plight of the people of Darfur and bring to light some actions everyone can take. The first hand experience of the six subjects shot with high definition cameras gave the necessary realism to every scene.

This is a remarkable film, giving guidance to all concerned in helping people in need.

Directed by: Theodore Braun
Running time: 99 minutes
Release date: November 2, 2007
Genre: Documentary
Distributor: Warner Independent Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG

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