|Darfur Now & Mongol

On Friday night, the local university hosted an evening focused on the genocide in Darfur. After a skit and a couple technical difficulties, we watched Darfur Now, a documentary that offers the perspective and stories of six activists working to improve the situation in western Sudan. ACTION, the student group sponsoring the event, has attended protests at a certain Chinese embassy in the past.

Showing six different points of entry to the subject was a useful technique. It gives viewers more options for engaging the film, since we tend to project ourselves into the story. Who do I relate to more–the celebrity, the hometown activist getting signatures, the lawyer, the NGO administrator, the local leader, the woman who joined the revolution? Which one is an example of how I can get involved? It shows that we can each play a role, regardless of who we are.

After the movie, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan shared parts of his story of fleeing for his life. There are two “Lost Boys” attending the university here. Now I’m interested to see the original film.

Having read Darfur Diaries, it was interesting to see the footage and add a visual element to the story. For me, seeing the people and places makes it so much more real.

My life has been so easy.

Then Saturday night we watched Mongol, Charissa’s Netflix pick for the month (we each get one movie a month). The cinematography and bold colors in this story of Genghis Khan’s brutal rise to power made even splattering blood a work of art.

Mongol had a few seens that I hadn’t read about in Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, a fascinating book lent to me when living in Korea. I wonder how much of this extra material is based on lore and how much was added just for the sake of the film. G Khan was revolutionary in so many ways, and his rise from obscurity is unbelievable. There should be a sequel to demonstrate his amazing ingenuity and insight into human nature.

Again, my life has been so easy.

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Posted in books, culture, government, history, human rights, military, movie, social activism

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