It is hard to be a man of action in a state of living where your actions can’t help anyone. Such helplessness is overwhelming as we are introduced to Marine Captain Brian Steidle, a man who was stationed in Sudan in 2003 and through his camera, witnessed the many atrocities that took, and sadly continue to take, place there.
The film was written and directed by Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern, and the duo is able to paint a painful image of what it is to be a fly on a wall during an ongoing genocide. The film never comes off as a preach fest, instead the film looks to inform people who aren’t as familiar with the genocide in Sudan and show one man’s struggle to make some sort of a difference.
I really enjoyed the style of the film. Using Steidle’s pictures he took while he narrates the letters he sent to his sister during his time in Sudan really make for an interesting narrative. The first half of the film is of this style, until we see him go from town to town in America sixteen months after the start of his tour to let everyone know what it was like over there.
I did enjoy this film, and I recommend if you are interested in the genocide subject matter, to also watch the documentary “Screamers” by Carla Garpaedian, a film that deals with the earlier Armenian genocide.
In the end, to see a man like Steidle care so passionately about a particular thing is quite awe-inspiring. A man who felt helpless while the atrocity took place is ceaselessly fighting for awareness. It is only too bad that the story, and history, have such a consistent state of repetiton throughout the world.