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No-one was much interested in my scoop from last year that the man widely regarded as the world’s worst film director was working on a project about the Darfur conflict, provisionally entitled “Janjaweed”. Now the trailer is out, and I for one can’t wait to Uwe Boll’s movie “Darfur”.
Set against the genocide in Darfur, six Western journalists visit a small peaceful village and find its people overshadowed by fear. Hearing that the state sponsored Janjaweed militia is heading to the village, the journalists are faced with a difficult decision – leave and report the atrocities to the world, or risk their own lives and stay in the hope of averting a certain slaughter.
Sure there’s a bit of typo in the trailer, his Janjaweed look like they’ve just arrived from Saudi Arabia and the journalists are much better looking than any journalists I know, but who cares? It’s easy to pick holes in films about Africa. At the end of the day this is an action movie that happens to be set in Darfur. I’m not expecting to come away enlightened about the complexities of the conflict. It’s a bit of fun that helps keep Darfur on the agenda.
And it’s great that Boll got there before George Clooney, who would no doubt have made all the same mistakes but turned it into a serious, campaigning movie with a, you know, message.
However, even I am a little uncomfortable with Boll’s decision to cast actual Darfur rape victims as Darfur rape victims. Boll might reckon this was the best way to generate realistic responses to the Janjaweed’s campaign of ethnic cleansing, but I’m not so sure. Now I’m no expert on the United Nations guidelines for this sort of thing but I’m sure they might have something to say about making women re-enact their brutal experiences in the name of entertainment.