Dave's Rating:

4.5

… intensely disturbing …

Who's in It: Brian Steidle

The Basics: In this documentary, a former U.S. Marine travels to the Sudan, takes a job with the African Union and monitors attempts to establish a cease-fire in the Darfur region's 20-year-old civil war. What he finds instead is irrefutable evidence of a mass genocide taking place in that country and subsequent indifference from Western countries that could do something about it.

What's the Deal? This is the kind of activist filmmaking that you hope lots of people see and then, in turn, call their congressperson about. It's a film that Oprah ought to feature on her show, since she may be the only American TV personality to really talk much about Darfur in any sort of in-depth way. Worst of all, it's about a government that's helping its own people to be raped, tortured and slaughtered on a mass scale and the freakish inability of the messengers to rouse the West to any sort of action.

The Magic Word: It's genocide, and you'll barely hear anyone outside of journalists and people like Colin Powell and the guys from System of a Down willing to say it in public. Because the minute you do the burden of doing something shifts to you. Hence, our President, in the face of all the evidence, still won't speak the word.

The Janjaweed: It means "devil on a horse," and they're the guys who do all the murdering. Warning: The film is full of intensely disturbing photographic evidence of their crimes, and it's all tougher to look at than anything you've ever seen in a horror movie.

Where You'll End Up Seeing It: Probably on PBS after an obligatory big-city-art-house-theater run.

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