Archives / 2006 Sundance Film Festival

God Grew Tired of Us

Director: Christopher Quinn

Institute History

  • 2006 Sundance Film Festival

Description

In the late 1980s, 27,000 Sudanese "lost boys"—some just toddlers—marched barefoot over thousands of miles of barren desert, seeking safe haven from the brutal civil war raging in their homeland. Half died from bombing raids and starvation; the others reside together in Kenya's Kakuna refugee camp, with few prospects. Recently, the U.S. invited some of the boys to settle in America.

Moving and mind-expanding, Christopher Quinn's God Grew Tired of Us follows three unforgettable young men—John, Daniel, and Panther—on their unbelievable odyssey in a strange New World. The culture shock begins with airplane loudspeakers and processed food and continues as they orient themselves to refrigerators, running water, and fluorescent-lit supermarkets. It's fascinating to witness their wonder at Western customs, and even more gripping when the film monitors their spiritual temperatures. Things are tough as the boys juggle multiple menial jobs; for the first time, they find themselves well fed, yet painfully isolated from the brotherly fellowship that once enabled their survival. They face hints of racism and are perplexed by Americans' obsessive need for privacy and anxious about loved ones struggling in Africa.

Yet John, Daniel, and Panther—each radiantly charismatic and thoughtful—meet their challenges, fueled by a desire to help others. Though they were bred in unspeakably dehumanizing circumstances, their integrity and honor are impeccable, raising profound questions about the conditions necessary to create a civilized society.

— Caroline Libresco

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

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