"The Devil Came on Horseback" the documentary on Darfur by Minnesota native Annie Sundberg makes riveting and horrifying viewing. I spent an evening with it last night.
It's the story of Brian Steidle, a former US Marine, who went to Darfur in 2003 as a military observer for the African Union to monitor the ceasefire called after 20 years of civil war in Sudan.
He witnessed the systematic campaign of rape and murder sponsored by the Sudanese government against the people of Darfur. While there had been news stories about what was happening in the area, it was only when Steidle presented the thousands of photographs he had taken during six months of travel in the region that the story erupted in the media.
Sundberg's film uses that material, plus footage shot during subsequent trips to Sudan and Rwanda with Steidle to pose tough questions about global responsibility in the face of genocide.
"The Devil Came on Horseback," will screen at Minnesota Film Arts Bell Auditorium in Minneapolis starting October 12th. Sundberg will attend some screenings later in the run.