Darfur Now Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
My mother is a passionate seamstress. Over her lifetime, she’s made hundreds, if not thousands, of toys, quilts and items of clothing for humanitarian aid. What does that have to do with Darfur? On the surface not much. Yet, like the individuals in this film, she exhibits a passion for making the world a better place by using her skills.
For many of us, the mass killings in Sudan are little more than a 30 second sound bite on the evening news or a few paragraphs in the world section of the paper, but for the six personalities highlighted in Darfur Now, the conflict is forefront in their lives. And they’ve committed themselves to promoting peace in the war-ravaged region of Africa.
After members of Janjaweed fighters despoiled her village, Hejewa Adam, a Darfurian woman arms herself and enlists with the Sudanese Liberation Army. Ahmed Mohammed Abaker, a man forced into a refugee camp, takes a hand in organizing the displaced persons who flock to the makeshift encampment. On the other side of the world, a UCLA student activist, Adam Sterling, starts a grassroots campaign to call attention to the problem and initiates a bill in the California legislature. Oscar-nominated actor Don Cheadle draws awareness to the plight of the Sudanese people while on the red carpet and with a friend, John Prendergast, pens a book on the crisis. In The Hague, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, an Argentinean lawyer, serves as Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court charged with investigating and prosecuting those accused of genocide. Finally Pablo Recalde, a United Nations humanitarian, coordinates food distribution convoys bringing relief to those in the area.
Attacking the issue from various angles, the documentary brings to light additional obstacles caused by foreign oil investment, diplomatic relations and corrupt politicians. But for those dedicated to righting the wrongs of war, the answer is to increase public awareness and encourage more people to speak up.
Burning villages, decaying bodies and gun-toting guerillas along with some graphic commentary on rape and killing make the film too intense for younger audiences. But for teens and adults, the documentary offers some valuable discussion points, including the use of democratic procedure and humanitarian aid. However the most worthwhile message is the call for involvement.
While not everyone may feel drawn to the crisis in Sudan, the world has plenty of needs; illiteracy, homelessness, health, education, family issues, political problems. Vowing to take action for a cause is one way each of us can improve the world we live in—even if it’s just one stitch at a time.Starring Don Cheadle, George Clooney. Running time: 98 minutes. Theatrical release November 8, 2007. Updated May 2, 2009
Rating & Content Info
Why is Darfur Now rated PG? Darfur Now is rated PG by the MPAA for thematic material involving crimes against humanity.
Images of decaying bodies, gun-toting soldiers and burning villages are some of the scenes in this documentary uncovering the genocide in Sudan, along with attacks on food convoys and innocent Darfurians. Liberal discussion of killing, rape and tribal violence are also included, with a brief depiction of smoking.
Page last updated May 2, 2009
More parents' guide for Darfur Now after the break...
Darfur Now Parents' Guide
What causes Adam’s change of attitude about student activism? How does he involve others in his cause? How does he use the democratic process?
Should celebrities use their status to make political statements? What other actors are known for their activism?
What causes do you feel strongly about? How can you get involved? For more information on Darfur go to this site: http://www.myspace.com/darfurnow
The most recent home video release of Darfur Now movie is May 27, 2008. Here are some details…
Darfur Now releases to DVD with the following bonus extras: an introduction and commentary by director Theodore Braun, and additional scenes. In the charitable spirit of the production, a portion of the proceeds earned from DVD sales will be donated to the Solar Cooker Project.
Related home video titles:
A group of Tennessee school students attempt to collect six million paperclips, representing each Jew who died in the Holocost, in the documentary Paperclips. When mandatory ballroom dance lessons are introduced into the New York City school district, a group of fifth-graders prepare for competition in the film Mad Hot Ballroom. In both cases, these activities have a profound effect upon the worlds these students live in.
Actor Don Cheadle starred in the movie Hotel Rwanda, a dramatized look at the genocide that happened there.