DARFUR NOW (2007)
Featuring Don Cheadle, Hejewa Adam, Pablo Recalde, Ahmed Mohammed Abakar, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Adam Sterling, George Clooney, Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Written by Ted Braun.
Directed by Ted Braun.
Distributed by Warner Independent Pictures. 99 minutes. Rated PG.
It’s not easy to make an uplifting film about genocide, but Darfur Now does its best to be just that.
It looks at the current tragic occurrences in the small country, not by looking at the horror but instead focusing on some of the people who are trying to change things.
Of course, the fact that the great majority of these are not actually from Darfur does give the film a tiny bit of an outside-looking-in distance. This can be both a plus for a viewer (the horror and the death are easier to endure and understand) and a minus (the distance can obviously dilute the power of the situation.)
For example, co-producer and one of the film subjects, actor Don Cheadle obviously cares deeply about the subject. He has written a book. He has talked to world leaders. He’s gotten celeb friends like George Clooney to help spread the word. It is wonderful that he is giving his time and his celebrity for the cause. At the same time, somehow what the two Californians profiled in this films do seem somewhat small when compared to their cohorts.
After all, the others are more hands-on – dealing with the horror in their face on a daily basis. Comparatively handing out stickers on Venice Beach seems a little superficial.
It is not, of course. As Darfur Now points out so persuasively the best way to end the horror is to bring it to peoples’ attention. We can all do our part – big or little – in order to foster peace. Still, the guy trying to get the proponents of torture to the international courts or the guy who moves to Darfur to be able to deliver supplies – their roles just seem more heroic.
Darfur Now may pull a few punches, but it does the job it sets out to do – spreading the word about horrors which do not get enough airing.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2007 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: November 2, 2007.