Today was hair day for the children, so I carved out a few hours and a spot on the sofa for cornrows and cinema.
We watched God Grew Tired of Us; the deeply moving account of the journey of the Sudanese "Lost Boys". The documentary follows a group of young boys and eventual men as they flee Sudan's civil war and unrest.
First, they make their way 1000 miles through the desert from Sudan to Kenya, surviving on hope and little else. The men survive conditions so deplorable that one, John, recounts believing they were doomed to a life of suffering because "God grew tired of [them]".
When they arrive at the refugee camp, they find safety and companionship among other child refugees, but food is scarce and many, if not all, have been orphaned. Finally, the US steps in to relocate many of the older "Lost Boys" to 23 states in the nation. They are given housing and 3 months of government assistance; during which time they must find gainful employment and become self sufficient.
The film follows four of the Sudanese men over the course of 3 years as they settle into their new lives in Syracuse, NY and Pittsburgh PA. It is during this time in the film when my suspicions, regarding the inherent richness of cultural identity, were confirmed. While grateful for the opportunities they've been given in the US, the men will soon realize just how much they've lost along the way. God Grew Tired of Us is available on Netflix.