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With Jim Sabatini

Darfur Now

Darfur Now

Rated: PG for thematic material involving crimes against humanity
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: November 16, 2007 Released by: Warner Brothers

The horrors in the Sudan are examined through the work of a half-dozen individuals in the trenchant, ambitious Darfur Now.

The most resonant parts of Theodore Braun's high-minded documentary include those who've witnessed the ongoing genocide in a place given its due treatment.

Those involved include Luis Moreno-Ocampo, a prosecutor from the Hague, after Darfur war criminals; Ahmed Mohammed Abakar, who runs a large refugee camp, as well as Ecuador's Pablo Recalde, who has dedicated himself to feed starving locals. One learns of the jolted youthful mother Hejewa Adam who turned into an armed rebel after her toddler son was executed by the government militia.

Darfur Now at times plays like an all-access pass to an area that some may feel needed more exposition and context.

Political activism is passionately expressed through those like UCLA student and part-time waiter Adam Sterling, who is trying to put this sobering situation in a more global light. Hotel Rwanda actor Don Cheadle is among those like star pal George Clooney, putting his celebrity clout into travel and discussions with officials to illuminate the sordid plight.

The intentions to encourage what is necessary to reverse this African situation is complemented with a dirge-like score can be persuasive. Yet, Darfur Now doesn't have the understated emotional impact from the mood and the manner in which it expresses its important points. There's an irony in the on-screen reunion of Clooney and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger if one recalls Batman and Robin, as this profile with its publicity downplays the power of the efforts of something that needed more urgency instilled in it.

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Darfur Now       B-       B-

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