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God Grew Tired of Us

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Last night I attended a screening of the 2006 Sundance Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award winning documentary God Grew Tired of Us, directed by Christopher Quinn. Fine, maybe I went because Brad Pitt was listed as one of the producers and I thought he and Angie might show, which they didn’t, but it was still worth the trafficky drive up the 405 freeway to where the screening and a panel discussion were scheduled at American Jewish University.

God Grew Tired of Us, follows the lives of three of Sudan’s “Lost Boys” as they re-settle in the United States, specifically Syracuse and Pittsburgh after a decade of living in the harsh Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. The fish out of water moments as they encounter American culture, electricity, refrigerators, escalators, doughnuts, and a myriad of other daily things we take for granted are as hysterical as they are poignant. It follows their journey into the workforce, their interactions with unfriendly Americans, their loneliness, triumphs, brotherhood and keen desire to help those left behind in Kakuma camp and the Sudan, much of the time working two or even three minimum wage jobs just to send money back to Africa.

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Coined “The Lost Boys” by a journalist in the early 90’s, this term refers to the thousands of young boys who fled their homes in Southern Sudan to travel on foot across Sudan to Ethiopia and then onto Kenya, forming new makeshift families of their own. In 2001 the United States government agreed to re-settle 3,600 of these boys, now men, in the states.

Deng Chol, a Lost Boy himself, has moved to Los Angeles to spearhead the newly formed non profit organization, The Lost Boys and Girls Organization, and to receive his MBA in non-profit management. An LAist interview with Deng Chol is in the works.

For more information on the film go here.
For information on helping the cause go here.

Photos provided by Brian Yeager