Darfur Now
Directed by Ted Braun (PG)

Six individuals take us inside the strife surrounding Sudan.


Darfur Now is an “engaging, smartly edited sum-up of the 21st century’s worst humanitarian crisis,” said Darrell Hartman in The New York Sun. Though part of a growing glut of political films, this highminded documentary wisely takes the road less traveled. Director Ted Braun focuses his camera on Sudan, where an estimated 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million displaced over the past four years. Darfur Now examines the region through the eyes of six individuals, ranging from co-producer Don Cheadle to Hejewa Adam, who joined the Sudanese Liberation Army after her child was murdered. The “crisp, unfanciful splicing together of their stories” creates a “succinct portrait of Darfur’s plight that puts its urgency in high relief.” The six subjects all help to explain the complexity of the issues involved, said Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times. The stories about the Americans, however, don’t carry the “same force and power” as those about the natives. The most compelling aspect of the film is its unprecedented access to refugee camps. To be effective, the truth, as horrifying as it is, has to be made known, said John Anderson in Variety. Braun too often portrays this atrocity “through the rosy lens of activism and political awakening.” Darfur Now might not provide all the awful details, but it is a quiet and conscientious call to action.