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"My heart is in the east, and I in the uttermost west." — Yehudah Ha-Levi

Darfur Documentary Opens Today for Limited Engagement

Posted by challahbackgirl on August 24, 2007

Cross posted from CBDYAG

TheDevilCameOnHorsebackOpening in the Bay Area today at the is a film The Devil Came on Horseback; an emotional documentary exposing the tragedy in Darfur Sudan through the eyes of former U.S. Marine Captain Brian Steidle. He takes you in the heart of the region, where the Arab run government is systematically executing a plan to rid the province of it’s black African and Christan citizens. (Sound familiar?) As a press release states and trailer show

He was unprepared for what he would witness and experience, including being fired upon, taken hostage, and being unable to intervene to save the lives of young children. Ultimately frustrated by the inaction of the international community, Steidle resigned and returned to the US to expose the images and stories of lives systematically destroyed.

Due to his status as an official military observer, he was able to go to places journalist were not, enabling exclusive images in this film. The film takes it’s title from a play on the translation of “Jangaweed” which means “devil on horseback.” Released this year, it’s already racked up awards:

WINNER SEEDS OF WAR AWARD
FULL FRAME DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL

WINNER FULL FRAME / WORKING FILMS AWARD
FULL FRAME DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL

WINNER WITNESS AWARD, SILVERDOCS

WINNER ADRIENNE SHELLY / EXCELLENCE IN FILMMAKING AWARD
NANTUCKET FILM FESTIVAL

OFFICIAL SELECTION
SUNDANCE, CINEVEGAS, TRIBECA
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH FILM FESTIVAL (Closing Night Film)

Brian Steidle with refugee children in ChadOver the last few years, while this conflict and horror rages on, our local community has organized protests, including Day of Conscience for Darfur, and Global Days for Darfur and pressed our elected officals to act now to stop the genocide in Darfur. As Jews, are committed to “Never Again” following the Holocaust and hope urgent action is taken.

It can be seen in select theaters around the Bay Area for One Week or Less: See it Now:

Brian and his sister Gretchen Steidle Wallace wrote the book The Devil Came on Horseback, based on their correspondence throughout his time in Darfur.

A NOTE FROM BRIAN STEIDLE
I am telling the stories of the Sudanese people because it seems unthinkable not to. While in Darfur I witnessed villages of up to 20,000 people torched to ashes, men castrated and left to bleed to death, innocent families locked inside burning huts, children shackled and tortured, young girls gang-raped, fields of bones and executed corpses. I felt I had to expose these unmentionable atrocities to the American public. The conflict still rages in
Darfur and our leaders, despite calling it genocide, have yet to step in to prevent further violence.

I want people to feel compelled to take action to end this conflict and do whatever necessary to prevent future conflicts like this from happening. I want people to care about Africa.

The events that I witnessed must be made public both for the sake of each Darfurian still struggling to survive and in honor of the millions who have perished under acts of genocide while the world remained cowardly and silent.

Jane Wells (co-producer of the film) is a freelance writer and activist who went to Sudan in March 2005, to bear witness to the genocide unfolding in Darfur. She subsequently visited the refugee camps in Chad to deepen her knowledge of the crisis and to take more witness testimony. She became producer of The Devil Came on Horseback to help bring Brian Steidle’s unique witness to as wide an audience as possible. In 2006 she went to Rwanda with Brian Steidle and Gretchen Wallace to learn about that genocide and gather footage for The Devil Came on Horseback. She has written dozens of articles about this genocide that have appeared in Vogue, Diversion and The Huffington Post. She formed Three Generations to deepen her efforts to pressure politicians, the media and the public at large to act and to protect in the face of genocide, the greatest crime against humanity. Three Generations honors her father’s work as a filmmaker in World War II documenting the Holocaust. (He filmed the liberation of Bergen-Belsen in 1945). Her work on “The Devil Came on Horseback” takes up the same mantle hoping to use the medium of film to make “never again” finally mean something. She was raised and educated in the UK. Since moving to the US in 1984 she has worked for Granada Television, First Run Features and Circulo de Lectores. She is a Contributing Editor at Aspen Magazine.

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One Response to “Darfur Documentary Opens Today for Limited Engagement”

  1. jlifer fo' sho' said

    I heard this amazing man speak about a year ago, and I am glad to hear that he is sharing his experiences with the public. A MUST-SEE for anyone who wants to know what’s really going on in Darfur.

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