P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2003
March 8, 2004
Moving Story of Sudanese Refugees Told in Documentary at Images
(North Adams, Mass.) Behind ethnic conflicts, political feuds, religious hostilities and territorial squabbles are the untold stories of war’s most disregarded casualties: its children. Benjamin and his Brother, a documentary by filmmaker Arthur Howe, tells the story of brothers Benjamin and William Deng, two Sudanese boys forced to flee their villages upon the outbreak of civil war. The Independent (UK) raves: “Benjamin and His Brother is an extraordinary piece of film-making: a story which is both ‘true’ in the ordinary sense that it actually happened (and continues to develop), but also true in the deep sense, with the force and weight of myth.” MASS MoCA will partner with Images Cinema to screen this moving film at Images in Williamstown on Thursday, April 8.Losing birthplace, cultural ties, family, and future, an entire generation -- Benjamin and William, along with 20,000 other children of the Nuba, Dinka, and Nuer tribes -- have been dubbed the “lost boys”. They face starvation, harsh environments, wild animals, war, and uncertainty in their seemingly endless limbo of displacement and exile. Unlike the idyllic flying urchins of Peter Pan who escape to a fantastical world of eternal youth, the real-life lost boys have had to grow up all too quickly. Having spent much of their lives as expatriates, the lost boys traveled on foot from Sudan to Ethiopian refugee camps, where an outbreak of civil war in 1991 eventually forced them to take flight to the Kakuma camp in northern Kenya. Searching for education, opportunity, and hope, William and Benjamin Deng are faced with the ultimate hardship when William is accepted into a resettlement program in the United States, and a bureaucratic error leaves his brother Benjamin behind. British filmmaker Arthur Howe originally went to Sudan in 1980 to teach English in the Nuba mountains, returning in 1988 to make his first documentary, Kafi’s Story (1989). His second Sudanese film, Nuba Conversations (2000), encouraged a cease-fire in the region after a United Nations-sponsored screening in Nairobi. His films follow the creed of observational documentary, recording individual stories against a setting of political upheaval with brutal honesty. Howe will introduce the film and take questions after the screening. Tickets for Benjamin & his Brother are $5.50. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount. Tickets are available in advance through the MASS MoCA Box Office located off Marshall Street in North Adams from 11 A.M. until 5 P.M. (closed Tuesdays). Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111. Tickets are also available in advance at Images Cinema in Williamstown. Images Cinema, a non-profit community movie theater, presents a wide range of independent, foreign and classic films which impact filmmaking and our culture. Images Cinema is dedicated to the exploration of film as an art form, a source of entertainment and an educational tool. MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall St. in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
For Immediate Release