Benjamin and His Brother | Chicago Reader

Benjamin and His Brother

Benjamin and William Deng were children when they walked from Sudan to Ethiopia in 1987, part of an exodus of 20,000 “lost boys” displaced by civil war. After years in a Kenyan refugee camp, William has resettled in Houston, but Benjamin has been left behind. Their heroic survival story is strewn with disappointments-the education William is promised doesn't materialize, and Benjamin is ashamed to learn his brother works break-ing down boxes. British director Arthur Howe's 2002 video is mostly competent, but recurrent lighting and exposure problems leave African faces visible in one shot and underexposed in the next. The high point is a beautiful call-and- response sung at a refugee's funeral by his mourning countrymen. 87 min.


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