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"God Grew Tired of Us"
Transcript of "God Grew Tired of Us"
What is the filmmaker's purpose?
The filmmaker's purpose is to shed light on the war in Sudan so people in America can protest to get Congress' approval to help with the war.
What is the argument? What assertions/claims are made?
The director wants the audience to be introspective and realize how many aspects of everyday life that they should be grateful for. The director made this documentary because he believes that the hardships and wars in Africa shouldn't be ignored by the American government. He also believes that every conflict deserves attention and the chance to be evaluated.
"God Grew Tired of Us"
When the Second Sudanese Civil War broke out, a group of over 25,000 people walked thousands of miles across the desert in search of safety. While on this journey, half of the people died because of starvation, bomb raids, and genocidal murder. The people who survived the treacherous walk were sent to a refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya. In 2001 the United States sent 3,600 "lost boys" (the men from the Kakuma refugee camp) to live in America and start a new life. Among those sent were Panther Bior, John Bul Dau, and Daniel Abol Pach, who are featured in the documentary.
Brief Overview of Film
Four boys get the opportunity to move to America from a refugee camp in Kenya for a better life for themselves and their community. They struggle living in American society as they have to adjust to the customs and find jobs that will support themselves and their family back home.
Directors Christopher Dillon Quinn and Tommy Walker
Is an award-winning american film director. He was born on September 24, 1965 in Alexander, Virginia. Christopher directed "God Grew Tired of Us","21 Up America", and "Eating Animals". He studied at the school of Anthropology in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 2007 he was awarded the emerging documentary filmmaker award by the International Documentary Association.
Information On the Directors
Tommy Walker is a composer of contemporary worship music, recording artist, and author. He has been the worship leader at Christian Assembly(in Los Angeles, California) since 1990. Working with the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, Walker's most famous songs are "He Knows My Name", "No Greater Love", and "Mourning Into Dancing".
To what extent does the argument have validity?
What is the attitude or viewpoint of the director? Tone?
What cinematic techniques does the film use to produce its point?
How does the structure of the film help achieve its purpose?
What rhetorical appeals contribute to the filmmakers purpose?(Ethos, pathos, logos)
The director backs up his argument by including personal interviews with the lost boys and following their journey to America over the course of several years. Although he has strong support for his argument, his claims lose their effectiveness because the documentary is only told through the one-sided perspective of the lost boys. If the director would've included interviews from the American government over the controversy of the Sudan war, then the documentary would've been more credible.
The director is sympathetic towards the Lost Boys because of the unfair disadvantage they have in life when they are in the camp and even when they come to America. He is also sympathetic towards the individuals left in the camp who did not get the opportunity to come to American to build a better life for themselves.
The director mainly appeals to pathos by evoking sympathy in the audience through the use of heart breaking images of starving children and lifeless bodies of family members. He establishes credibility by receiving the information through someone who experienced the events firsthand (interviews with the lost boys). Through the use of maps, data charts, and statistics the director appeals to logos.
*Ambient Sound- background noise ( nature in Sudan)
*Reaction Shot- close up of a character (Man at the supermarket)
* Voice-over narration- someone is speaking about a situation while scenes are shown (Any narration done by Nicole Kidman or the lost boys)
* Montage- emotional sequence of images (pictures and video of starving children in Sudan)
*Music- external sound within or through scenes (upbeat music for comical segments and use of tribal music)
*Indirect Interview technique- Interviewer isn't seen or heard, but the interviewee is heard (lost boys interviews)
*Archival Footage- flashbacks (footage from tribe in Kenya, pictures of family)
The film starts with a clip from the middle of the film where the lost boys are anxiously scanning papers to see if they were chosen to be sent to America. This establishes foreshadowing and sense of suspense for what's to come. Additionally, the filmmaker formats the film to follow each of the featured lost boy one at a time and show their perspectives individually.
- John's emotional speech about coming to America and having to leave everything he has ever known behind. Daniel's speech about the hardships and loneliness in America
- Difficult images of starving children and dead bodies to stir the audience's hearts. The lost boys' fascination with technology and everyday aspects of the American lifestyle.
- Facts about the war in Sudan, use of maps, and statistics.
- The transformation from broken English accompanied by thick accents to cohesive English with little to no accent. Use of their native language and English language as well.
- Sentence fragments are used by the lost boys due to their broken English.
"Too often with documentaries, we get only the tears. there is no second act or resolution. Christopher Quinn's "God Grew Tired of Us" gives us reason to hope about a human catastrophe."
-Peter Howell; April 7, 2007
"The film is not a pity party, its a story of resilient people bearing up under conditions few of us could imagine."
-Colin Covert; March 29, 2007
"Can there really be no footage of their uncertainty, anger at unfriendly Americans, even an embrace of bad habits?"
-Joshua Rothkopf; February 3, 2007
"Their journey isn't over--Many in Africa still desperately need help-- but the hope and opportunities America offers are a grand place to start."
-Bruce Westbrook; February 16, 2007
"The Lost Boys' gratitude for simple things will humble those of us accustomed to comfort and opportunity. Their endurance, ambition, and compassion should inspire us."
August 22, 2007
www.amazon.com -Amazon Instant Video
L to R: John Bul Dau,Daniel Abol Pach, and Panther Bior
"One of the strengths of this documentary - besides the obvious and important awareness-raising- is its ability to help us see our culture from a fresh perspective . It's fascinating (and at times shaming) to watch the men's gratitude for factory jobs most of us would consider menial at best, as well as their languishing loneliness as they learn that talking to strangers in America draws suspicion instead of fellowship."
- Cameron Courtney;
January 2, 2007