Review of Darfur Now

Review of Darfur Now written and directed by Theodore Braun and Ted Braun
Rating ***

This film looks at the problems in Darfur from six different perspectives: a celebrity activist (Don Cheadle),a female rebel fighter, an international criminal prosecutor, a civilian activist, a relief worker, and a local sheik.

The media (and this film) has compared what's happening in Darfur to the genocide that took place in Rwanda. And if the killings of several hundred thousand people is genocide, then they are correct. The big distinction in this case is that the genocide is being carried out by the Sudan government. In Rwanda, as in most all genocide cases, ethnicity is the primary source of conflict. In Darfur it seems to be a battle for resources. Oil is a factor with Exon Mobile emerging as the biggest player. One way to combat the problem is by divesting in U.S. companies that do business with the Sudan government.

Looking at the problem and possible solutions from different angles gives you a very good overview of the situation in Darfur. Having only 90 plus minutes to tell the story, however, isn't enough time to form an emotional attachment to any one of the six stories. The female rebel fighter for example. She lost her child after her and her child were beaten by a government sponsored killing squad. That tragedy led her to want to fight back. But her story gets little screen time compared to that of Don Cheadle.

The story of the prosecutor who eventually names two people in the Sudan government as conspirators and instigators of the genocide is left unresolved. It is unresolved because the government refuses to hand over the individuals. Not only haven't they been handed over for trial, they were put in charge of relief efforts. Talk about the fox guarding the hen house. The real problem is that the entire Sudan government is guilty.

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