God Grew Tired of Us (Tommy Walker, Christopher Dillon Quinn, 2007)

| January 28, 2013

God Grew Tired of Us reviewed by Mary Schuler DeWitt

God Grew Tired of Us is a documentary film directed by Christopher Dillon Quinn and Tommy Walker. It tells the story of the “Lost Boys of Sudan”.  The focus is on the lives of three young men in Africa and the United States: John Bul Dau, Daniel Abol Pach and Panther Blor.  The young men are interviewed as they transition from sub-Saharan Africa to different cities within the U.S., where life offers an abundance of opportunities, in direct contrast to what they experienced in their homeland.

The “Lost Boys of Sudan” is the colloquial name given to the group of  approximately 25,000 boys (ages 3-13) of the Nuer and Dinka ethnic groups, who were displaced and/or orphaned during the Second Sudanese Civil War (1983-2005), in which  about 2.5 million were killed and millions more displaced by Sudan’s Muslim government when they pronounced death to all males who were Christian. “The Lost Boys” is a term that came from a journalist who named them after the orphans in Peter Pan. These boys travelled for five years and made it to the UN’s refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya. From there 3800 survivors were selected to move to the United States.

In particular, the film follows three men who came to the United States. It starts in sub-Saharan Africa and follows the men on their flight to the “new world,” depicting the dramatic transition and process of adaptation to a radically different culture, including how to use common household amenities such as running water and toilets. Eventually, the men obtain employment and start to send money back to family members in Africa. It isn’t long before they realize that the money goes very quickly and there never seems to be enough.

At one point, one of the Lost Boys, Jon Bul Dau, tells the audience that as a child he suffered and watched those around him suffer so he thought god grew tired of him and the other boys. But the documentary is not just an attempt to show the audience the hardship that these men have endured as youth or as children. It is also an attempt to promote the Lost Boys’ cause. Jon Bul Dau has founded the American Care for Sudan Foundation, a charity raising funds to build the Duk Lost Boys Clinic, which will be the first medical clinic in Duk County where Dau lived when he was a child.

This film shows the audience what we as Americans take for granted everyday. More specifically, it shows that there are those who suffer in silence but with the proper resources can overcome obstacles even when the odds are stacked against them. For the Lost Boys, it was not only the power of determination but also the power of resilience.

If you wish to donate please go to: http://johndaufoundation.org/