DARFUR NOW (Ted Braun). 92 minutes. Opens Friday (November 9). Rating: NNNN
It's a sad state of affairs when you can honestly begin a review with the phrase, "It's not the best film on Darfur I've seen this year." Nothing in Darfur Now matches the gut-punch of The Devil Came On Horseback, but it does have this going for it: it's a much more optimistic work.
Produced by, among others, Don Cheadle, the film looks at six people involved in the struggle to end the Sudanese genocide: Ahmed Mohammed Abakar, a refugee leader; Hejewa Adam, a rebel soldier; Pablo Recalde, leader of the World Food Program in West Darfur; Luis Moreno-Ocampo, prosecutor at the Hague; Adam Sterling, a student activist; and Cheadle himself.
As a movie star, Cheadle naturally finds the biggest audience for his message, but the most inspiring figure for Western audiences is Sterling, who went from someone committed to avoiding flyer-wielding activists to a person who hands out flyers himself.
His dedication got him to Sacramento, where the Governator eventually signed a law to keep California state funds out of Sudan. In a film that's primarily about hope, Sterling's the guy to keep your eye on, especially if you've often wondered, "What difference can I make?"