Movie Review: God Grew Tired of Us
I watched the movie God Grew Tired of Us, about the horrific impact of the war in Sudan on children and a hopeful journey to America. The movie followed several of the Lost Boys of Sudan, a group of over 25,000 young refugees from civil wars in Sudan, through camps in Ethiopia and Kenya, and ultimately to America where they were offered shelter and education and a chance to create a new life.
Parts of the movie were shocking and tragic as the reality of war impacted these children: starvation, disease, loss of family and home, separation from loved ones. The title of the movie comes from John Bul Dau who at one time believed the end of the world was imminent and that God had simply grown tired of us.
A number of the young men were offered refuge in America for education and employment. The movie also has some humorous moments as they explore aspects of our culture from the outside. They learn to ice skate on wobbly ankles, they wonder if the brightly colored sprinkles on donuts are actually food, they crush up Ritz crackers and cook them in milk because it resembles a familiar meal. They also experience the sometimes lonely nature of American life, the separation from family and lack of time for connection with friends.
The movie was very inspirational for several reasons. We can see the resilience of the human spirit, the simple will of these children and youth to survive in the most desolate of circumstances. They bond together in makeshift families and learn to support each other. On days with no food, they have "parliament meetings" to experience community and help each other get through.
As they find jobs and start school, they never forget connections to homeland, family, and friends. They searched desperately for lost family, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. They constantly send whatever money they can spare to loved ones. But, most importantly, they work to change the situation. John Dau became an outspoken advocate for peace and justice in Sudan and developed health clinics in his homeland. Other "Lost Boys" started schools or other charitable foundations.
I loved the movie God Grew Tired of Us. Although parts were tragic and difficult to watch, there were enough light hearted moments as the young men navigated their way through America and interacted with Americans. The movie also showed the remarkable ability of the human spirit to transform the most dire of circumstances into hope and optimism and connection with community.