The movie follows the story of a number of boys, mostly Santino and Peter. The boys, amongst thousands, were part of a village raided by Fundamental Islamics who waged a violent war against the Christian villages in the southern Sudan. The fathers were killed, and the women and children were mostly "used" and killed as well. Many of the young boys were tending goats and such outside of town and ran away. These runaway boys are called The Lost Boys of Sudan and those that were not shot by the enemy, eaten by lions, or otherwise passed away in the journey made it to a refugee camp. This refugee camp allowed for some of the boys to then immigrate to the US and start a new life there. There was hope of schooling and they called it "heaven on earth".
The first thing I heard while hearing these boys say that it was heaven on earth in the beautiful landscape of Africa was - "oh my - I hope they werent disappointed when they arrived". Yes we are the land of plenty, but perhaps not in the way they are used to, and the beauty that is Africa and the culture that is the African people I thought would be missed when they arrived. Yes there was a chance for a better life but would these boys who spent their lives in Africa really think America was heaven.
Sure enough as you follow the paths of Santino and Peter you see that though some of the boys make the most of their opportunity, others feel cheated and become angry. You see some of them slowly Americanize some in good ways, others not. I recall one comment of the boys "forget Africa. We are in America now." I hope that we can keep our child from forgetting Africa and keep that culture alive in our family. I don't want JT to ever forget Africa once he is an American. We will be proud of our son's homeland and culture and hope that we can teach him to be as well.
One of the things I really enjoyed in this movie was the personality of the African. Interestingly, I was showing Bryan a free ap I have on my phone that allows you to choose a country and get tidbits about their culture. While we were driving home from Michaels Crafts I read them to him. We talked about how men walk holding hands or arm in arm when they are close friends or family and that that is kind of neat that they are comfortable doing that. Then in the movie you saw much of that, and then the boys in their apartment said they could no longer do that in America cause it meant something else here.
But the thing that stands out to me overall is the way people treat each other. When Santino was packing to leave for America he gave all of his important possessions (a ripped pair of shoes), schoolbooks, etc to his friends and told them over and over how much they meant to him and how he would not forget them. The affection that the African people express to each other fills my heart.
There were beautful moments in the beginning at the going away party where they sang songs like "Jesus Christ is in my hand. SPLA is in my hand". And funny moments when they got on the plane and they said "it shakes my stomach" and were intrigued by the airplane food. Or when they teased each other for getting big bellies (not by our standards of course).
Loved this movie - and highly recommend it.
God Be With You. All The Time.
To donate to the Lost Boys Fund:
Simply make a check out to “IRC – Sudanese Assistance Fund” and send it to:
IRC Atlanta Resettlement Office.
Kensington Office Park, 4151 Memorial Drive
Atlanta, Georgia 30032