- Title: USA: First feature film about the genocide in Darfur released in North America
- Date: 25th July 2007
- Summary: (AD1) NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (JULY 23, 2007) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English), RICKI STERN, CO-PRODUCER OF "THE DEVIL CAME ON HORSEBACK" SAYING: "For us, Brian becomes this witness and this vehicle for telling the story of Darfur but also his own personal journey - what happened to him as this witness of this violence and not being able to act - to simply take photographs and document the evidence as it was happening transformed him."
- Embargoed: 9th August 2007 13:00
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement
- Reuters ID: LVA5JDH8CE6N6677M9BS7GV3EOAS
- Story Text: The first feature film on the genocide in Darfur hits theatres in New York City on Wednesday (July 25). The documentary hopes to accomplish what press reports, celebrities like George Clooney and Mia Farrow and Security Council resolutions have not been able to accomplish, which is to get the violence to stop.
The movie, called "The Devil Came on Horseback", chronicles former U.S. Marine Captain Brian Steidle's journey from military observer in Darfur for the Africa Union (AU) to international activist.
"Brian becomes this witness and this vehicle for telling the story of Darfur but also his own personal journey - what happened to him as this witness of this violence and not being able to act," said Ricki Stern, one of the two filmmakers.
While Steidle was stationed in Darfur, he witnessed the genocide and documented his experience using email, audio journals, notebooks and more than 1000 photographs. Immediately after Steidle gave the photographs to the New York Times he was contacted by the AU and U.S. State Department, who asked him to stop showing them.
"I'm glad that I was able to show my photographs to try to tell a story about a genocide that was going on and if it makes it a little more difficult for people to move on the ground or they have to wait longer to get their visas, then that's too bad. You know, I thought the world should have known about a genocide," said Steidle.
While in Darfur, Steidle interviewed members of the janjaweed -"Devil on Horseback"- the Arab militias who ride in on horseback and rape and kill civilians in villages all across Darfur.
"They would always tell us they were part of the Sudanese Government, that they were trained and armed by the Sudanese Government,"
Throughout the course of the movie, Steidle became disillusioned with the United Nations.
"Every time a resolution is proposed, China and Russia threaten a veto, unless it's watered down to the point where it has no meaning. That's because China and Russia are both involved economically with Sudan" said Steidle.
Steidle is taking things into his own hands by promoting the documentary, publishing a book titled "The Devil on Horseback" and working with producers in Hollywood to make a fictionalised version of the events in Darfur, like "Hotel Rwanda".
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None