14 August 2007 | idonotexist
Welcome to America?
This is a documentary that is of a rare type, yet one that i wish there was more of. It is rare because it is real. There isn't a script, no plot. The camera follows the characters and not the other way around.
This movie is about a group of Sudanese refugees granted asylum into the USA after wandering around Africa for years having been displaced by the wars in the 1990s that affected Sudan.
I am sure some will say that we have all seen this before.. people in dire situations, starving people, famine.. Yes we have, but what we haven't seen enough about is how these people, the few given a chance at a normal life deal with the adjustment and their new home.
This is a movie about Sudanese refugees yet it unmistakably makes you wonder about yourself and your own country. Through their eyes we are given a different perspective about us, perhaps a perspective that we so cannot see from our own point of view. The movie highlights the undeniable workaholic and isolationist American culture that is remotely not as welcoming as we would all like to claim. As the movie progresses we see their lives change, them trying to fit in, struggling with social norms (put your thinking caps on for this part of the movie) and generally trying to make it in the big capitalist state that we are. It isn't easy, but is it worth it? What these people have to give up makes you think of what we have given up and not even realize it or deem it important, yet for someone who comes from a different culture, the fragmented society is not a culture shock, it's lack of culture.
It doesn't matter if one agrees with their views on our weird lifestyle. What matters is that this is a beautiful documentary about struggle, both in the old life and the new. It is amazing to me, yet not foreign, how they are eventually forced to drop out of school and work menial jobs to make ends meet and try to help any people back home they can. Then comes the realization that a man can only do so much..
As time goes we see them make changes (generally improve) to their lives, get involved with activities, mend with the local culture. As we see the changes taking place it is hard not to understand the people and that is one of the high points of this movie. The information isn't forced to you but you warm up to is by listening what the boys have to say about their experiences and their lives.
A highly recommended real life documentary that is worth checking out, particularly if you like something different. There are also a few lines (can't miss them) that will make you chuckle because they are the same things that every American says often.