The Devil Came on Horseback
Based off of an award winning novel, the documentary film chronicles the continuing Darfur Conflict in Sudan as seen through the eyes of former U.S. Marine Captain Brian Steidle. The Devil Came on Horseback depicts the tragedy taking place in Darfur as seen through the eyes of a witness there for 18 months who has since returned to the US to take action to stop it.
Using the exclusive photographs and first hand testimony of Steidle, the film takes the viewer on an emotionally charged journey into the heart of Darfur, Sudan, where an Arab controlled government is systematically executing a plan to rid the territory of all the African citizens. As an official military observer, he had access to parts of the country that no other journalist could ever get to. He was unsuspecting for what he would observe and experience, including being fired upon, taken hostage, and being unable to do anything to save the lives of young children. Ultimately frustrated by the inaction of the international community, Steidle resigned and returned to the US to expose the images and stories of lives systematically destroyed. Marine Captain Brian Steidle is not a likely hero. Even though he is brave, Steidle’s accomplishment is much unexpected. He is a soldier who learns to change the world through nonviolent means.
Steidle originally traveled to Sudan as an unarmed military observer working for the African Union. He left as a witness to what many believe is genocide in the western Darfur region, a conflict that has claimed 400,000 lives and displaced 2.5 million people. Overall, I saw from firsthand account the horrible images of the Darfur conflict. I did not realize how horrible and how large of a worldwide emergency it really is before watching this film. It makes me want to take action and make others aware of the genocide.
The world has been plagued with inequality issues since the beginning of time. The film Braveheart portrays this issue magnificently. Braveheart, directed by Mel Gibson, was released in 1995 and since then has won a total of 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture 1995 and Best Director Mel Gibson. Based on true history, Braveheart takes place in the late 13th Century in Scotland. William Wallace ...
When Steidle returned to the US, he did all he could do to help bring this film together and make others aware of the Darfur genocide. While he was in Sudan, he was merely an observer and could not do anything on his own to stop, prevent, or save anyone from the horrible occurrences going on right in front of him. I think the images and Steidle while the images are sure to also keep many viewers awake at night, the lack of widespread public shock about the story leads Steidle to wonder what will wake people’s consciences, then a U.S.-based movement to stop the violence in Sudan occurred. Overall, when alone, he could do nothing but watch, but when he went home to gather others to help the cause, then change became more aware.
I really enjoyed this film overall. I have always had a great interest in the conflict overseas, and this film was a great learning experience for me and gave me a broader visual knowledge of the Darfur genocide. The only part of the movie that bothered me was the fact that the movie spent too much time focusing on Steidle rather than the situation of Darfur. It could have been almost 20 minutes shorter or could have added more scenes of the conflict. But overall, it was an amazing film and shows so much of the genocide that you could never see anywhere else, due to the position Steidle was in. It was well worth watching and does an amazing job informing the viewer of the terrible conflict overseas.