May is a big month for activist-actors George Clooney and Don Cheadle on the issue of Darfur.
Clooney has narrated and produced a new documentary on the crisis entitled Sand And Sorrow that will be closing the 2007 Monaco Film Festival. The film outlines the conflict in Darfur since its inception, follows the activist movement and shows viewers why they should care and what they can do to take action. Here’s a small snippet from someone who has already viewed the film,
“It points a heavy finger at the international community and the US government for its response to the crisis. One line that keeps looping in my head like a broken record is how there have been five major genocides in the last 100 years and the International community failed miserably to stop or prevent them, but with Darfur it was like the world was giving us another chance, but this time in slow motion.”
Meanwhile, Don Cheadle’s new book on the situation, “Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond“, started showing up in bookstores this week. According to CNN, “the book lists six steps for readers to get involved, beginning with raising awareness and then campaigning to bring an end to the crisis.” As Cheadle and co-author John Prendergast write in the book,
“Preventing genocide and other mass atrocities is a challenge made all the more difficult by a lack of public concern, media coverage, and effective response, especially to events in Africa.”
The question is, will we pay attention? Are we too engrossed in our own battles to face this problem directly? As Cheadle wrote, “It is urgent that President Bush act … to confront the Sudanese regime for the atrocities that it is committing and perpetuating to bring this genocide to an end once and for al.” But will it happen?