February 18, 2004

For Lost Boys, Big Dreams

Lost Boys of Sudan opened today; part of a two week (February 18 - March 2) limited run. From a listserv posting:

Filmmakers and the film's subjects, Peter Dut and Santino Chuor in person: Thursday, February 19, 8 pm show

Screenings daily at 1:00, 2:45, 4:30, 6:15, 8:00 and 10:00.
Sold out shows: Wednesday, February 18, 6:15 and 8 pm.
Check Film Forum for more info, or to buy tickets online.

Film Forum is pleased to present the U.S. theatrical premiere of Lost Boys of Sudan. An American independent documentary by Megan Mylan and Jon Shenk, the film's jumping off point is the plight of thousands of children orphaned by Sudan's 20-year civil war who have lived for years in mud huts in a Kenyan refugee camp, often eating just one meal a day. Lost Boys of Sudan follows the stories of two such young men - Peter Dut and Santino Chuor - who in 2001 were among several thousand brought to the U.S. and resettled throughout the country.

The filmmakers hone in on Peter and Santino as they make the transition from the African plains to the cities of Houston and Kansas City: they are amazed by the abundance of food ("We eat 24 hours a day and we still have food left!"); taken aback by racism ("People look at me. I'm so black compared to the black people who live here"); saddened by the American ethos of rugged individualism; and made to feel guilty by relatives telephoning from Africa who cannot understand why they don't send more money. The most telling analyses of America are, inevitably, the work of outsiders. Lost Boys of Sudan says a great deal about the reality of Africa today, but even more about us.

"FASCINATING! Hearing them joke about customs they can no longer observe - like the familiar touching that is considered homosexual behavior in America - underscores the spiritual distance between America and Africa…The nearly unlimited access the directors have to the lives of their subjects intensifies the narrative. (The film) subtly provides a sense of what its subjects have traded - sacrificed really - to come to America. Getting an audience so caught up is no small feat; it is a tribute to the directors' storytelling!" - Elvis Mitchell, New York Times

Too bad I probably won't be able to attend tomorrow's showings with the principles in attendance. Hell, I'm hard-pressed to think that I'll see any of the showings. *sigh*

Posted by ronn at February 18, 2004 11:17 PM