Screened as part of NZIFF 2007
Unwlling to accept a desk job after years of infantry command, US Marine Captain Brian Steidle was hired as a neutral observer by the African Union to track Sudan's fragile ceasefire, declared in 2004 after a 20-year civil war. Armed only with a camera and notebook, Steidle spent the next six months documenting as the Janjaweed (or "devil on a horse") militia – funded by the Sudanese Arab-controlled government – enacted systematic genocide against black African citizens in Darfur. Journalists couldn't get access to the parts of the Sudan where Steidle was posted, but eventually, driven by outrage and horrified impotence, he leaked his own pictures to the press in the hopes that the American people and government might be moved to action. Directed by Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern, this deeply affecting documentary tells audiences what has happened in the Sudan through one man's life changing transition from witness to activist. A powerful and pressing reminder of the Darfur genocide, which has claimed nearly half a million lives and continues to this day.