Segments in this Video

Glimpses of Darfur (01:55)


Film maker Elsanhouri wonders how the harmonious Sudan of her youth could have contained the seeds of genocide. Darfurians respond briefly to her cameras.

Defensive about Sudan (02:11)

A man explains to another man that the director of the film was born in Sudan but is now British; the second man seems suspicious. The men debate whether Sudan has a problem with racial violence.

Political Reason for Darfur Violence (01:13)

Groups in Darfur have been prone to conflicts, but historically compromise was possible, Sudanese say, but the government got involved by arming Arabs. Sudanese aren't racist by nature, they say.

North-South Conflict (02:05)

A Sudanese man born in Khartoum says he doesn't experience personal racial frictions, but at the institutional level there are racial problems, such as the national language and TV.

Employment Connected to Politics (01:47)

A woman is reluctant to talk about what life is like in Khartoum for people from the South and West. A man explains that employment in Sudan depends on party loyalty and contacts.

Privilege and Perspectives (03:03)

Elsanhouri reminds herself that as a Northerner, she experiences Sudan from a privileged, dominant position, whereas in England she is a minority. A man warns her not to build her film around the perspective of benevolent Northerners.

Mixed Marriage (02:32)

Familiar with north-south conflict, Elsanhouri did not know about Sudan's tribes until she fell in love with a man who could not marry outside his tribe. She visits a mixed-race couple to find out whether this is typical.

Identity and Conflict (02:23)

Elsanhouri asks the mother of mixed-race Sudanese children what she will teach them about identity. The Darfur issue is political rather than one of identity, the father says; Elsanhouri pushes back.

Downplaying Genocide (03:06)

Elsanhouri presses a Sudanese interview subject on racism and genocide. He dismisses the charges as propaganda. Another man says the government made mistakes, but downplays them.

Sudan's History Curriculum (02:23)

On-screen text quotes an Egyptian Viceroy ordering an 1825 slave raid in Sudan. Elsanhouri visits her old school, where the lesson is about Sudan's unification.

School Reenactment of Racial History (02:18)

The Turks invaded Sudan in 1821 and united it. School children reenact this, acting as Turks or Sudanese depending on ethnicity. Both the resistance and the unification are, contradictorily, celebrated.

Call for Splitting Country (01:48)

A Sudanese journalist says the country should be split. Americans aren't doing enough to stop the war, he says; Elsanhouri presses him on his belief in America's humanitarian intentions in its involvement.

Israeli Involvement (01:31)

A Sudanese journalist dismisses claims of Israeli aid to the rebels as government propaganda, and in any case does not object to Israel; he is African, not Arab, he says.

Discrimination (02:14)

Asked about life in northern Sudan, a journalist from the south complains about the heat, and about discrimination and police harassment.

Regrets Over Sudan (01:14)

Elsanhouri is sentimentally attached to the idea of a united Sudan, but understands why the south wants to break off, and wishes the dominant group she is part of had embraced multiculturalism.

Accusation of Moral Blackmail (01:48)

A driver jokes about Sudan's level of development, which we view from the car window. He says the government made a mistake in using the Janjaweed and tried to rectify it, but American moralizing is unhelpful.

Elsanhouri's Connections to Darfur History (02:18)

Elsanhouri discusses the legendary founding of Darfur's last dynasty, which ruled from the sixteenth through twentieth centuries. She talks to her family about a ring connecting them to the last of the line and the English conquest.

Feelings about Darfur and Sudan History (02:04)

Elsanhouri's family is reluctant to talk about their ancestor who was given the ring by Darfur's last ruler, soon to be killed by the English. She hopes there was some empathy between them, but doubts this.

Sudanese Thoughts on Intervention (02:36)

A Sudanese man once opposed humanitarian intervention but is now ambivalent given Darfur's plight and the success of intervention in the South. Another man worries about outsiders' economic interests.

Debate in Sudan over Intervention (01:43)

One man says any U.S. intervention will be self-interested, comparing humanitarian justifications to colonialist arguments. A man counters that Darfur is in crisis.

Victim of War (02:40)

In a cafe debate in Sudan over foreign intervention, a man accuses supporters of sentimentality. A woman then points out that the army killed her own parents. She wishes she had a son to avenge her.

Raid Recounted (03:41)

A woman recounts an raid on her village in Sudan when she was a child. She was displaced, and her father and brother were killed. Surely, she believes, outside interference is worth it if it brings peace.

Darfur Situation (02:24)

A Sudanese man insists the people of Sudan are culturally united, and that the media has exaggerated problems in Darfur. Others say the government is doing nothing to pressure the militias.

Economic Reasons for Darfur Conflict (03:16)

Clashing interests, rather than Arab-African hatred, are cause fighting, a professor in Sudan argues; he explains the conflict's evolution. Foreign intervention is like bacteria, which Sudan invites with its own inability to solve its problems.

Pluralism (01:36)

A professor in Sudan talks about out-of-control militias, and the possibility of creating unity through pluralism.

Race and Darfur (01:43)

As we approach violence-torn Darfur, a man emphasizes that there are no purely African or Arab tribes.

Political Goals in Darfur (01:45)

A man explains the Darfur conflict in terms of struggle between factions within the ruling party. Another says rebel groups are motivated to show the government can't protect citizens.

Thoughts on Darfur (01:54)

Displaced people talk about why they came to a camp. Elsewhere, a woman hopes Sudan's government can solve Darfur and avoid foreign intervention. Some express fatalism.

Defensive about Arab Role (03:14)

On old servant woman talks about how her family fled Arabs, the Janjaweed, on horseback. Her master insists she cannot be sure they were Arabs.

Displaced Persons Camp (02:24)

Residents of a displaced persons camp named it after a peace treaty between rebels and government. A family builds a mud, brick house at the camp.

Forced to Flee (02:21)

A man at a displaced persons camp says the Fur people's minds are not at rest away from their land and farms, and distressed by the need for handouts. He does not complain of material deprivation in the camp.

Government Raids (02:15)

At a displaced persons camp, a woman talks about forced to flee. When the government found there were rebels in a place, troops would take all the young men. They raped some women.

Security Guard Atrocities (01:30)

People at a Sudan displaced persons camp say security people recently stripped and beat girls in a classroom in the camp.

Rape and Stigma (03:33)

An activist talks about rapes in Sudan's conflict, and the secrecy involved due to stigma. A hospital official says he only knows of two cases, and cannot say whether there are more.

Iraq, Sudan and Intervention (01:11)

If Sudan cannot solve its humanitarian problems, a woman says, the international community will take control. The Iraq War brought worldwide suspicion humanitarian justifications for intervention.

Lack of Empathy for Suffering (01:47)

A man objects to Elsanhouri's focus on one woman's suffering, when people from all sides have suffered, and in any case her family were suspected rebels. Nobody objects to America wantonly killing in Iraq, he says.

Individuals, Society and Progress (01:06)

A man says Sudanese have a problem accepting the other. Elsanhouri asks him whether this applies to him, saying change starts with the individual. He says there are challenges to going against social norms.

Credits: All About Darfur (01:07)

Credits: All About Darfur

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All About Darfur

3-Year Streaming Price: $199.95



Director Taghreed Elsanhouri says she felt uniquely qualified to make this documentary “because as a northerner in Sudan I know what it is to belong to a dominant group, and as a black woman in Britain I know what it’s like to be marginalized.” The film follows Elsanhouri as she returns to Sudan to see how the seemingly-racially harmonious country of her youth could have become the scene of two of the worst instances of ethnic cleansing in recent African history. Talking with Sudanese people in cafes, markets, refugee camps, and living rooms, Elsanhouri finds that race does matter. Arabic and English with English subtitles. (82 minutes)

Length: 83 minutes

Item#: BVL49767

Copyright date: ©2005

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

“A sensitive and non-sensational portrayal of the war and destruction in Darfur that privileges the voice of the average Sudanese....A useful film for those interested in contemporary African politics of ethnicity and gender, civil wars and conflict resolution and development.”  —Prof. Salah Hassan, Cornell University      

“A highly personal documentary that is touching and illuminating.”  —Toronto Globe and Mail    

“A provocative and intelligent film.”     —Henry Sheehan, President, Los Angeles Film Critics Association

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