Note: This is the first movie review I ever wrote on my personal blog, JoelMayward.com, in 2007. It was never meant to be published in a professional setting, and the tone is personal and descriptive. Still, I think it’s important to post my first attempt at a review here at Cinemayward. Enjoy.
A few weeks ago, I watched a film that I cannot get out of my mind. So I decided to blog about it, just to get the thoughts out in the open! God Grew Tired of Us is a beautiful documentary that follows the lives of three Lost Boys from Sudan as they travel to the United States.
In the late 80s, war broke out in Sudan against all the southern Sudanese males. About 27,000 boys began to flee the country on foot to Ethiopia, then Kenya, where they lived in refugee camps for the next 10+ years of their lives. This film follows three of those “Lost Boys” as they move from a refugee camp in Kenya to New York and Pennsylvania.
The story is very touching, at times funny, and deep look at humanity at its best and worst. The men show a lot of wisdom as they encounter American culture for the first time. They are hard workers, show incredible compassion to one another, and have a high value of relationships. I found myself learning a lot from their perspective, especially their value of people. After experiencing so much pain and horror from losing family members to war and living in impoverished refugee camps, each man had so much wisdom to offer. They were dedicated to helping out others, sending much of the money they earned working multiple jobs to friends and family back in Africa. As an American, it was convicting to watch these men struggle to find water in the mud of Africa, then later be told how to adjust the hot/cold faucets so they can have a comfortable shower. The film doesn’t portray America as ultimate salvation for these men; they find they have to work 2 or 3 jobs simply to get by, and feel very isolated in our individualistic culture. But the film is a story of hope and perseverance, which anyone from any culture can understand.
As a follower of Jesus, the movie wrestled with some deep spiritual issues. The title of the movie comes from a comment made by one of the Sudanese men, that God must have grown tired of them to allow such pain and violence to occur. The same man has begun an organization to take action against injustice in Sudan and to help unite the Sudanese people.
The documentary won the Sundance Festival Audience and Grand Jury prize in 2006. It’s rated PG, so it’s a great film for a family discussion.
IMDB Listing: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0301555/