Life Lessons from Movies

God Grew Tired of Us

In Documentary, Movies on April 29, 2014 at 2:05 PM

God Grew Tired of Us (2006) is a documentary written and directed by Christopher Dillon Quinn and narrated by Nicole Kidman about a group of about 25,000 boys who escaped the violent civil war in Sudan by walking 1,000 miles to Ethiopia and then Kenya, where they were housed in refugee camps, from which about 3,800 “Lost Boys” were then allowed to immigrate to the United States through the efforts of the International Rescue Committee.

Life Lesson:

“If you are going through hell, keep going.”

Winston Churchill

Movie Scene:

John Bul Dau: “When we run away from Sudan, despite of me being 13, I was taller than the others. So I had to be select out, that ‘please, you are big now, so please go and, and do this job.’ So I had to, to take care of them. I was in charge of one group, 1,200 and something person. That was the time I learned how to bury the dead bodies. That was my, part of, my job. I have to go and bury my fellow brothers. Imagine, at the age of 13, can bury. It was so difficult. It was so bad. But because of situation and our time, what do we do? We have to do that. It was as if maybe the day, the last day, as people say in the Bible, that there will be a last day, that Jesus Christ will come, and whatever on Earth will be judged. That was my imagination. I thought that God felt tired of people on Earth here, felt tired of the bad deed, the bad thing that we are doing, yet God is watching on us. I think God, I thought God got tired of us, and he want to finish us. When I think of it back, it was so bad anyway. You can even think of, can even regret why you were born. Why you were born. Now I wonder, I’m now again wearing clothes, and feeling very happy, and so anyway, everything has an end. Has an end. Even if there’s problem in Sudan still, maybe one time, one day, one minute — it will come to an end.”

  1. “Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.”
    ― Seneca

  2. John Dau, Lost Boy no more, and the power of a story: Even amid setbacks, love and hope trump pain (

    “From early childhood, he said, Sudanese children are encouraged to play an animated role in family tales passed down through generations.

    Those narratives, Dau said, are so engrained they provide a “moral basis” — a foundation — for making decisions amid crisis. Dau had no classical education until he was 17, he said, but the tales told and retold when he was a child gave him the strength and direction to survive.

    That kind of storytelling, he said, seems to be lacking here. Yes, many parents read aloud to their children every night. But it is in the sharing of a tale that it truly comes alive, when boys and girls — in all ways — become part of the story.

    Once they do, when trials come, they remember who they are.

    Consider the tale of three teams upon the mountain, which Dau learned as a little boy from his grandfather. All three groups decided to race to the top, and the first team quickly surged into the lead. But the path was steep, the day was hot and the climbers began complaining. One by one, they chose to turn around.

    The second team moved ahead, the grandfather said, until the same thing happened: The climb was too hard. The entire team gave up. That left the third team to claim an easy victory, but soon enough those climbers, too, began saying the triumph wasn’t worth the climb. Before long, like the other teams, they stopped climbing and went down.

    Except for one man.

    He kept going until he made it to the summit. The others, from below, marveled at his strength. Once he descended, they asked why he decided not to quit. The man walked right past them. He didn’t answer.

    He was deaf. He’d heard nothing when everyone urged him to turn around.

    The moral: Never listen to the words of those prepared to accept defeat, Dau said. If you listen, then a little boy – burying friends lost to cholera, in a wasteland – might give up and choose to join them in death.”

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