Good books and films about the Darfur Genocide

© Finbarr O'Reilly

April is Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month.  In honor of this, we have compiled a Resource List of books and films themed around each of the past genocides that have commemorative dates in April, plus the areas that we cover.

We hope you will make use of this list as a way to both remember these genocides, and learn more about them.  This is our fourth entry, the Darfur Genocide.

Recommended Books:

A Long Day’s Dying: Critical Moments in the Darfur Genocide, by Eric Reeves
The Khartoum regime is committing genocide in Darfur while the international community watches in silence or with mere hand-wringing.  Action is essential now if we are not to see a further extension of the international failures so conspicuous in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.

Fighting for Darfur: Public Action and the Struggle to Stop Genocide, by Rebecca Hamilton *favorite
This is the story of the individuals who organized protest marches, lobbied government officials, and raised funds in the belief that the outcry they created would force world powers to save the millions of Darfuris still at risk.

Heart of Darfur, by Lisa French Blaker
An experienced nurse with Doctors without Borders, the author was posted to Darfur in 2005 for nine months to “provide assistance to populations in distress”. In Darfur she found plenty. She worked not only under harsh physical conditions, but also the deliberate brutality and malice of the janjaweed and Sudanese government soldiers.

Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond, by Don Cheadle and John Prendergast
Don Cheadle teamed with human rights activist Prendergast to plead for greater awareness of the horrors of genocide in Darfur, Sudan, and issue a call to action.

Sudan: Darfur and the Failure of an African State, by Richard Cockett
The author provides an account of Sudan’s descent into failure, looking at all of Sudan’s numerous internal wars and rebellions since independence and showing how they are interconnected and looking at the country’s complex relationship with the wider world.

Tears of the Desert: A Memoir of Survival in Darfur, by Halima Bashir w/ Damien Lewis *favorite
Bashir, a refugee living in London, offers a vivid personal portrait of life in the Darfur region of Sudan before the catastrophe.  She anticipated a bright future after medical school, but tensions between Sudan’s Arab-dominated Islamist dictatorship and black African communities’ tribe finally exploded into conflict.

The Translator: A Tribeman’s Memoir of Darfur,  by Daoud Hari
The Translator is a suspenseful, harrowing, and deeply moving memoir of how one person has made a difference in the world–an on-the-ground account of one of the biggest stories of our time.  Daoud Hari has helped inform the world about Darfur.

Recommended Films:

Darfur Diaries
In October, 2004, three activists snuck across the Sudanese border into rebel-held territory to document the atrocities in Darfur.  They returned with some of the first footage exposing the massive war crimes being perpetrated by the Sudanese government

Darfur Now
Theodore Braun’s absorbing documentary about the atrocities in Darfur, the westernmost region of Sudan, Don Cheadle poses a fundamental question facing moviegoers attending a film about African strife: How do you respond to an event as difficult to understand as a government-sponsored mass murder of part of a country’s civilian population?

On Our Watch *favorite
Three years of fighting in Darfur have destroyed hundreds of villages, displaced 2.2 million and led to more than 400,000 deaths.  President Bush has accused the government of Sudan of genocide, but the U.S. has taken few concrete actions to stop the fighting.  This Frontline documentary tells the story of those who have lost their loved ones to this war, those who are fighting to survive and those who are working to bring peace to the region.

Sand and Sorrow *favorite
Offered exclusive and unparalleled access to the situation on the ground inside Darfur, Peabody award-winning filmmaker, Paul Freedman, joins a contingent of African Union peacekeeping forces in Darfur while a tragic and disturbing chapter in human history unfolds.

The Devil Came On Horseback *favorite
A documentary that exposes the genocide raging in Darfur, Sudan as seen through the eyes of a former U.S. marine who returns home to make the story public.

Background on the Darfur Genocide: Since 2003, the genocidal conflict in Darfur has devastated millions of non-combatant civilians and resulted in the death of at least 200,000 people. As of 2010, Sudan continues to direct its troops and proxy Janjaweed militias to systematically destroy the livelihoods of Darfuris by bombing and burning villages, looting economic resources, and murdering, raping, and torturing non-combatant civilians. A proliferation of rebel groups in Darfur is also complicit in the recruitment of child soldiers and the commission of other acts of violence against civilians.  The Darfur conflict has displaced over 2.7 million people within Sudan, with an additional 250,000 crossing the border into Chad. The actions of the Sudanese government, particularly the expulsion of 13 international aid groups in March 2009, continue to affect those who have sought safety in towns and displaced persons camps.

– From GI-Net / Save Darfur Coalition (link)

Compiled by Paulina Robles and Barbara English of Orange County for Darfur and Martina Knee of the San Francisco Bay Area Darfur Coalition.

2 Responses to Good books and films about the Darfur Genocide

  1. Pingback: Good books and films about genocide and mass atrocities (all entries) « Orange County for Darfur Blog

  2. Pingback: April is Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month « Orange County for Darfur Blog

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