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Genre: Documentary
Starring: Panther Bior, John Bul Dau, Daniel Abol Pach, Nicole Kidman (Narrator)
Director: Christopher Dillon Quinn,
Tommy Walker
Rating: PG (Some Disturbing Scenes)
Year Made: 2006







Languages: English/Africa
Subtitles: English
Aspect Ratio: -
Sound: -
Running Time: 1 hr 29 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Scorpio East




Orphaned by a tumultuous civil war and travelling barefoot across the sub-Saharan desert, three young Southern Sudanese, John Bul Dau, Daniel Abol Pach and Panther Blor were among the 25,000 "Lost Boys" who fled to Ethiopia. Thousands died from starvation, dehydration, bomb raids and genocidal murder until they reached Kenya's Kakuma refugee camp, where 3,600 lost boys, including John, Daniel and Panther, were invited to live in America.They uprooted their lives and embark on a journey once again, and must now learn to adapt to the economically intense culture of the United States, learning new customs, adapting to strange food, coping with jobs, while dedicating themselves to help those in Kakuma, and to discovering the fate of their family.


There is a scene in this 2006 documentary which struck me how much we have taken things for granted. It’s a seemingly simple scene: Some African men have just stepped foot onto an escalator for the first time in their lives. This is also the first time these men have stepped foot outside their home country into a certain high and might country called the U S of A. You see them struggle trying to set foot on the moving escalator. Some fumble, some feel proud that they don’t fall. You laugh at first, but feel ashamed doing so a while later.

And this excellent documentary is about these African men’s journey into a land which promises so much more than their war stricken homeland.

The 89 minute Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize winner follows three young men who are sent to America, well, by a stroke of good fortune. You see, these men are out of the 25,000 boys who escaped to Ethiopia on foot after Sudan's Muslim government pronounced death to all males in the Christian south in 1987. Four years later, they were forced to flee to Kenya, and only 12,000 survived. After these hardships, our protagonists definitely deserve better. In America, these men work several jobs, send money back home, search for relatives lost in the civil war, adapt to the American and realize what it means to miss home.

First, the Christopher Dillon Quinn and Tommy Walker directed picture intensifies your viewing with shocking archival footage of Africa’s civil war. These shockingly brutal images may be disturbing, but coupled with narrator Nicole Kidman’s affecting voiceover, they seem so relevant and pertinent in the society we take for granted today. One should take a moment, especially people like me who have gotten used to the convenience and comfort of technology (yes, typing this review on a wonderfully wired computer makes me kind of guilty - kind of), to ponder about how other people in other parts of the same world are living drastically different lives.

From history we move on to the protagonists’ journey to American to realize their “American Dream”. We first see the anticipation before setting off, we feel their hope for better things to come, and we feel their family members’ joy too. But as they set foot into the commercialized world where things like potato chips, toilet bowls and basic personal hygiene are entirely new things to them, we can’t help but feel blameworthy for chuckling at seeing those images for the first time. We are sure that would be the same initial reaction from many of you too.

But the documentary would have worked If it set you thinking about global issues, and when the picture progresses to shape the protagonists into actual personalities that make up the basic foundation of human nature, you’ll realize that we are actually one big family living on the planet.


This Code 3 DVD contains no bonus features.


The disc’s visual transfer isn’t anything spectacular, but that shouldn’t stop you from watching this documentary. The soundtrack is presented in African and English language.



Review by John Li


Other titles from Scorpio East:

. Speed Racer

. Chaos

. Midnight Eagle

. The Leap Years

. Ancient Chinese Sports

. There Will Be Blood

. The Nanny Diaries

. The Magic Gourd

. Death Proof

. Dead Air

. A Tale of Mari and Her Puppies

. My Wife is a Gambling Maestro

. Fatal Move

. An Empress and the Warriors

. Ah Long Pte Ltd

. Talking Cock The Movie

. 2 Faces of My Girlfriend

. Lust Caution

. 881

. Brothers

. Ratatouille

. The Invisible

. The Lookout

. Alone

. Bar Paradise

. China Vampire

. Hooked On You

. Underdog

. Keeping Up With The Steins

. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

. High School Musical 2: Extended Edition

. Pixar Short Films Volume One

. Who Slept With Her?

. The Jungle Book

. Disney Princess Enchanted Tales

. Meet The Robinsons

. Goal II: Living the Dream

. Hanna Montana

. Meet The Robinsons

. Wild Hogs

. Breaking And Entering

. Jump In

. Primeval

. Forest of Death

. The Fox and the Hound 2

. The Fox and the Hound

. Dumbo

. One Last Dance

. Protege

. The Curse of the Golden Flower

. A Battle Of Wits

. Rain Dogs

. Heavenly Mission

. Exiled

. Operation Undercover

. Diary

. Fatal Contact

. Singapore Dreaming

. Rob-B-Hood

. On The Edge

. The World's Fastest Indian

. Dragon Tiger Gate

. Unarmed Combat

. Crazy Stone

. Election 2

. We Are Family

. I Not Stupid Too

. The Shoe Fairy

. 2 Becomes 1

. 49 Days


. Dragon Eye Congee

. A Chinese Tall Story

. Perhaps Love


. Election

. The Myth

. Wait 'Til You're Older

. The Maid


This review is made possible with the kind support from Scorpio East


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