Netflix is great because it forces us to watch movies that we really want to watch, but would never actually pick up off the shelf at Blockbuster. Such was the case with the movie that we finally got around to watching last night-- the movie that came in the mail almost a week ago & that we were too afraid to actually pop in the DVD player.
That movie was a documentary called God Grew Tired of Us, about the Lost Boys of Sudan-- an entire generation of boys who literally walked 1,000 miles to flee genocide targeting Christian Sudanese boys under the age of twelve.
Okay, I know it sounds horribly depressing (which is why it took us a week to actually watch it), and I won't say that I didn't do a lot of crying & gasping & shaking my head in disbelief... BUT, it was actually very uplifting & hopeful as well.
The documentary follows a group of Sudanese refugees who are given an opportunity to come to America to make better lives for themselves.
Now, I expected a film about the horrors of genocide (which I got, a bit), but I was also surprised to find a social commentary on America. It was really interesting to see the cultural poverty we have here in the US. The documentary shows how lonely & isolated these African are once they come to The States, how puzzled they are when no one talks to them, and how poor they feel here when it comes to relationships & community.
There is a beautiful & hilarious scene where these boys go to the mall at Christmas time to see Santa Claus & the huge Christmas tree. One boy tells the camera, "I wish someone could explain to me who this Santa Claus is. Is he in the Bible? How does he welcome the birth of Christ?" He is genuinely confused as he says, "This tree is very nice, very beautiful, but I do not understand what it has to do with Christmas." I wish they had filmed some Americans trying to explain Christmas culture to these sweet African boys.
Anyways, it really is a beautiful film-- funny & heartbreaking & fascinating & hopeful. I would definitely recommend it! Put it on your Netflix right now =)