God Grew Tired of Us: The Story of Lost Boys of Sudan

"Weak"

God Grew Tired of Us: The Story of Lost Boys of Sudan Review


Can a feel-good film be made about the now-famous Lost Boys of Sudan? Christopher Quinn thinks so, and he really wants you to believe in him. Filmed during the tail-end of the second Sudanese Civil War between the north and south, God Grew Tired of Us considers its title to be an afterthought rather than a premise. Displacing a handful of Sudanese "Lost Boys" in American cities as diverse as Syracuse, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, Quinn follows three of them (John, Daniel, and Panther) through their assimilation and their ponderance on how their personal culture should be held in such conditions.

Things get started with what seems like an unedited sequence from the adopt-an-African infomercials, minus the bearded Christian but resplendent with the hopeless boys and girls of the Sudan. These forgotten children trek unimaginable journeys from their homes to relief camps that exist in Ethiopia and Kenya. It is at one of these camps that John, Panther and Daniel are picked to go to the United States to live and experience a much more opportunistic culture.

The dominant lost boy is John, a tall, humbly philosophical man who lives in Syracuse when he is brought over. He talks about a wanting to support and see his family, to become educated and to eventually make a living for his parents and siblings that he lost during the war and who now reside in Uganda. On the other hand there is Panther, who believes that he can better the Sudanese people with the education and money he receives in America.

Though Quinn's trajectory is sincere and isn't without its graces and an honest political and social debate, God Grew Tired of Us seems to opt out of any real criticism of what goes on when a person gets thrown into our hodgepodge of hyper-culture. There are moments of simple charm, like when John and a fellow lost boy watch ice-skating and think it might be too dangerous. In moments like that, Quinn does show a brief glimpse at how easy we have it and how easy it is to be so kind and humble when you have nothing and are given so much, even if we consider it the bare minimum.

The real questions, however, come up only in a peripheral sense. When John addresses a church filled with students, he brings up why Sudan isn't particular popular on our government's to-help list. There are also several gentle queries into our way of life; John asks how a Christmas tree and Santa Claus fit into the birth of Jesus, but doesn't say it with any condescension, only genuine interest. Its arguments and questions like these that could find a more fascination core to Quinn's film. Where there could easily be a four-hour documentary on the Sudanese Civil Wars and a six-hour miniseries on the lost boy assimilation process, Quinn's film is relegated to an 83-minute wrap up that only briefly grazes the problems and negative effects of cultural displacement. When John does finally get to meet his mother for the first time in over two and a half decades, she screams in utter joy and begins to do an African chant of happiness and thanks right in the airport, with Burger King and Macys-suited news anchors in the background. It's the rare moment in God Grew Tired of Us where we see two cultures being slammed together without full preparation.

Lost boys want sprinkles!



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: Christopher Quinn

Producer: Molly Bradford, Christopher Quinn, Tommy Walker

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.