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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Politics > Genocide > Health > Disease > Education > Civil War > Third World > Children > Rebuilding Hope (Sudan’s Lost Boys) + Small Voices: The Stories Of Cambodia’s Children (2009/Cinema Libre DVDs)

Rebuilding Hope (Sudan’s Lost Boys) + Small Voices: The Stories Of Cambodia’s Children (2009/Cinema Libre DVDs)


Picture: C/C+     Sound: C     Extras: C+     Documentaries: B-/B



Despite all the mass communications, massive worldwide wealth, massive technology and the many great people that exist worldwide, the factor that slave labor, oppression and massive, insane poverty continue to exist is more man-made than ever before.  As stories about Haiti roll out of its nightmare earthquake and aftershocks, you have idiots bashing them including the one who talks of deals with Satan, when the one deal they never asked for was slave wage factories to make clothes for richer countries.  But they are not alone, as two new documentaries show.


Jen Marlowe’s Rebuilding Hope (2009) is the story of three men who left the southern part of Sudan so a Civil War would not kill them, then returned to see what was left of the lives they left behind and try to help rebuild.  They are among unnamed thousands and face insane problems with food, education, water, health care, sanitation and security (namely, massive shortages) after this waged on for decades and they did not even have an earthquake!  Often known as the Lost Boys & Girls Of Sudan”, this is a serious look like few you will get at the subject and is well done enough to make its point.  Extras include a making of featurette, progress update and four extended segments on The Comprehensive Peace Agreement, Health Care & Education, Woman’s Issues and Connection Between Darfur & South Sudan.  You can find out more immediately at www.RebuildingHopeSudan.org.


Heather E. Connell’s Small Voices: The Stories Of Cambodia’s Children (also 2009) is even more harrowing in some ways, if that is possible, showing the continuing nightmare legacy of the Vietnam debacle.  After Saigon fell, the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia and killed 1.7 Million people in a former high school also known as S21 (see a documentary on the subject elsewhere on this site) that also included rape, torture and a living hell.  Now, you have children (12,000+ at this time as you read) living in poverty near waste dumps going through the trash to find something to survive, to sell for money and getting sick and worse in the process.


They are the survivors from the legacy that ruined their world and continues to do so.  Here, an organization tires to reverse that trend by offering to sponsor children in a program so they can learn and be taken care of to have a possible better future.  It is a sad story and a legacy of The Cold War neither of its participants have done enough about to fix.  Extras include stills, Director’s Production Blog and Meet The Children update.  You can read more immediately at www.smallvoicesmovie.com.



The 1.33 X 1 image on Hope and anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Children are both shot on low-definition digital video with staircasing, softness, detail issues and other image weaknesses you would expect from such location documentary shooting.  Children only looks a little better because the footage turned out that way and both have Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono that have location audio dropouts, some background noise and other flaws.  However, that too is normal and under the circumstance, a fine job on the part of both programs.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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