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Lost Boys of Sudan (2004)



Average Rating: 7.6/10
Reviews Counted: 45
Fresh: 43 | Rotten: 2

The Lost boys of Sudan works as both a riveting documentary and scathing indictment of colonialism.


Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critic Reviews: 23
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 2

The Lost boys of Sudan works as both a riveting documentary and scathing indictment of colonialism.



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Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 1,241

My Rating

Movie Info

Megan Mylan and Jon Shenk's award-winning documentary Lost Boys of Sudan examines what happens when a pair of Sudanese boys, orphaned due to a civil war in their home country, are allowed to live for a year in the United States. Santito and Peter must contend with extreme examples of culture shock, while also figuring out how to negotiate a world that is physically safe but emotionally and intellectually foreign to them. Unlike many documentaries, the film does not employ a voice-over narration.


Documentary, Special Interest


Nov 2, 2004

Shadow Distribution - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (50) | Top Critics (25) | Fresh (43) | Rotten (2) | DVD (4)

Shot on video, and with the look of a PBS entry, it nevertheless manages to function on several levels -- all of them complex and sophisticated.

August 26, 2004 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Culture shock is hopelessly inadequate to describe the experience of the young subjects of the riveting documentary Lost Boys of Sudan.

August 6, 2004 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Offers an opportunity to see a good movie and learn something about an issue that has received far too little attention in the U.S. press.

July 23, 2004
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It might help you understand an unfamiliar face walking toward you on the street, and that's a great accomplishment for any film.

July 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A documentary about two refugees who come to the United States, it offers a detailed look at the hurdles they face but makes no attempt to analyze, explain or advocate changes that would help them.

June 24, 2004 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Lacking that exotic 'foreign' focus and by failing to address the hardships of their early lives, we're left with a routine film about teenagers making mistakes or growing up too fast.

June 4, 2004 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The documentary trades in hope and humor, rather than despair.

February 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

A riveting movie.

December 2, 2004 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

The scenes of Peter and Santino's adjustment to life in Houston -- a garbage disposal does what? -- are at once quotidian, poignant and absurd.

September 17, 2004 Full Review Source: Oregonian

In spite of their streets-paved-with-gold expectations, there is no Heaven on Earth

July 28, 2004 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

The film also doesn't get across the magnitude of the horror unfolding in the Sudan.

July 16, 2004 Full Review Source: Des Moines Register
Des Moines Register

This is a very moving filmed document.

July 2, 2004 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

[Takes] a fly-on-the-wall approach to capture the small triumphs and personal setbacks these young men face in their new lives.

July 2, 2004 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

The people who made Lost Boys of Sudan have a compelling story to tell, but they haven't quite put their fingers on it.

June 24, 2004 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Never less than a quietly heart-rending experience.

June 4, 2004 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

The fact that it's an old story doesn't mean that this new telling of it doesn't, in its rather simple and unaffected way, carry considerable impact.

May 21, 2004 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

like a more intimate and tragic version of Balseros

May 17, 2004 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Lost Boys of Sudan is a true strangers-in-a-strange-land story

May 17, 2004 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

For American viewers, Lost Boys of Sudan not only details a great tragedy a half-a-world away, but also illuminates much that's good and bad about life in our own country.

May 14, 2004
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Audience Reviews for Lost Boys of Sudan

[font=Century Gothic]Two recent documentaries about current affairs for your perusal:[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic][color=darkslategray]"Deadline" is a powerful, provocative documentary about the clemency hearings held by outgoing Republican Governor George Ryan of Illinois in 2002 to explore the death sentences of all 167 death row prisoners after some death row prisoners were found to be exonerated of the charges against them. The documentary explores the history of the death penalty (where one interviewee claims it was used to lynch blacks in the South) to the 1972 Supreme Court decision Furman v. Georgia that temporarily suspended the death penalty(and there are interviews with former prisoners who are alive because of that very decision) to when it was applied again with the execution of Gary Gilmore a few years later. What the film states is that in a perfect world, the death penalty would be used to execute the worst of the worst(for example, John Wayne Gacy) but this is a world with inadequate defenses and coerced confessions.(In a perfect world, I would still be against the death penalty.) If somebody were to be executed, then there is no room for error. This excellent documentary keeps everything on a human level, by interviewing various people who are involved in the criminal justice system, along with several past and current death row inmates. That way, the viewer gets to see what is at stake here.[/color][/font]
[font=Century Gothic][color=darkslategray][/color][/font]
[font=Century Gothic][color=darkslategray][color=dimgray]"Lost Boys of Sudan" is about a group of young men who grew up in Sudan, forced to flee because of civil war to neighboring Kenya to live in a refugee camp. They are eventually allowed to emigrate to the United States. The documentary focuses on two of the men - Peter and Santino. At first they both live in Houston but eventually Peter moves to Kansas where he attends high school and better socializes than Santino. It's interesting seeing the men acclimate to living in the United States but there is nothing here that we have not seen before, especially in the superior documentary, "Balseros."[/color] [/color][/font]
May 2, 2005
Walter M.

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  • Lost Boys of Sudan (2003) (UK)
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