God Grew Tired of Us (2006)

9 Sep

During the Second Sudanese Civil War (1983–2005) a lot of Sudanese boys lost their family and their homes. They had to leave everything behind and make long journeys on foot to find safety. Many did not make it, but those who did lived in refugee camps for many years. This group of over 20.000 boys is known as The Lost Boys. In 2001 the United States allowed 3800 of them to resettle. God Grew Tired of Us follows three of them, John Bul Dau, Daniel Pach and Panther Bior as they try to adapt to this whole different world.

The boys are young men now, but they learned almost everything they know in the camps they lived in. This means that they have not seen a lot of things we take for granted. There a lot of American customs they don’t really understand like Christmas, but they are also amazed by things you and I take for granted like a light switch or a refrigerator. This new world and the distance between them and the other boys back in Sudan means it isn’t always easy for them. They have to create a new life for themselves, which means finding work as they have to repay the United States for their travel.

This documentary makes it clear that not all of them can cope with it. They feel alone and finding work is hard. When they do they sometimes have to wait for hours as they are dropped of by volunteers before they can start. They are able to slowly settle in, but they miss each other so much that they also make sure that they get together regularly as they consider each other family. Together they have formed an association which looks out for these boys and gives them advice to find their way in life and support them.

God Grew Tired of Us shows the devastating effect that a war can have on a child and it’s a story you will remember. If it wasn’t for this war they would be home and still have their families instead of having to adapt to a new world to live in. They all talk about their hopes of returning. 9 July 2011 must have been a wonderful day for them as this was the day that South Sudan became an independent country, which will hopefully prevent any future wars and give them a chance to return safely.

Score: 8

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