“Darfur Now,” review by Susan Granger

0 Flares 0 Flares ×

Theodore Braun’s well-intentioned documentary focuses on the horror and atrocities of the government-sponsored mass murders in Darfur, the westernmost region of Sudan. As of 2007, United Nations estimates that 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million displaced from their rural villages in that African nation. Attempting to put a human face on the catastrophe, Braun delineates six different perspectives, showing how the actions of just one person can make a difference to millions.

In Sudan, Ahmed Mohammed Abakar is a displaced farmer who has assumed a leadership position in his chaotic refugee camp, and Hejewa Adam is a young woman who has been training with the armed guerrillas since her infant son was beaten to death by Janjaweed militia.

Elsewhere, Louis Moreno-Ocampo, prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, works tirelessly to investigate war crimes and obtain indictments against the Sudanese.

“Most people care about family and neighborhood but not about the world,” he says.

Ecuadorian aid worker Pablo Recalde struggles to transport donated food by convoy to the starving masses, while Adam Sterling, a USC graduate student, lobbies California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to prevent state funds from going to the culpable Sudanese government.

“Indifference is complicity,” maintains 24 year-old Sterling, who eventually gets a divestment bill passed.

A frequent visitor to refugee camps, Don Cheadle (“Hotel Rwanda”) agrees. Along with John Prendergast, he wrote “Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond,” and he’s is seen here with fellow activist George Clooney.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Darfur Now” is a sympathetic 6. Unfortunately, Braun never captures the emotional heart of the enormous tragedy and fails to ignite the passion he so obviously wants his audience to feel.

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 0 Flares ×

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.