“Lost Boys of Sudan” concentrates on the lives of two Sudanese refugees, Peter and Santino, of the Danka culture. We gain a perspective of life in the Kenyan camp and find it full of community and faith in God. They eventually make their way from the camp to the United States and the promise of a better life. Prior to leaving for America, one of the elders tells the group going to America is like “going to heaven.”
Having flown for the first time, the group of refugees arrives in Texas and we sense the uncertainty they all carry. The refugees are given money for a few months to get on their feet and after about 6 months they are on their own. Being free of voiceovers, the film allows us to learn solely from Peter and Santino’s perspectives. We watch as the group is taught to use a stove and garbage disposal and how to shop at the supermarket. They learn about cultural norms like how to greet another person, personal hygiene, and interviewing skills. We see them struggle to make a living and understand the culture they‘re thrown in. The young men express their opinions of the culture they find themselves in. They often send what little money they earn home to family. We see the cold, hard facts of life while witnessing the hope they hold. There are moments of disappointment, moments of happiness, and moments of humor--life at its basis in pretty much the same everywhere.
While Santino stays in Texas, Peter eventually heads to Kansas, enrolls in high school, and tries out for basketball. I felt his pain as he was cut from the team. Peter is invited to a Christian youth group and we observe the differing ways cultures worship. Eventually we see the “lost boys” reunite at a youth camp and they discuss all aspects of their new life in America. They pity about how their lives are run by money and the burden of providing for those back home.
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