"The Devil Came on Horseback" by Annie Sundberg and Rickie Stern, which had its world première at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2007, impresses through its uncompromising portrayal of the Darfur conflict. Stationed in the region as a military observer with the African Union, the protagonist Brian Steidle became an involuntary witness of murder and expulsion. From the perspective of the US American - whose distressing pictures will also be part of the photographic projection "Before the Eyes of the World" onto the Museum façade from 15-22 March - "The Devil Came on Horseback" publicly exposes the lack of interest shown by the media and the community of states for one of today's most brutal conflicts.
Brian Steidle spent several months as a military observer in Darfur and thus gained unique insight into events there. Since it is meanwhile virtually impossible for journalists to enter the region to report on the atrocities, "The Devil Came on Horseback" represents important evidence of the situation in Darfur. Armed with just his notebook and camera, the former US Marine Captain Brian Steidle also felt the effects of war on his own body: He was fired at, taken hostage, and forced to watch the killing of children and young people. Shattered by what he saw there, he returned to the USA in Spring 2005 where he was shocked to find a total disinterest in the fates of the people in Darfur.
His uncompromising pictures and video clips aroused interest in the filmmakers Annie Sundberg and Rickie Stern. After meeting Brian Steidle, the idea evolved for a feature documentary which follows the transformation of a young officer in search of adventure to a tireless advocate of Darfur's people. Through his work and that of others committed to the cause, over 180 organizations to date have supported the people in Darfur in the USA alone.
"The Devil Came on Horseback" is not only about the bloody conflict. The courage and the will to live shown by individuals is also recorded: The film shows interviews with refugee families from Darfur and a deserter of the Janjaweed militia. Experts such as the New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof, John Prendergast from the International Crisis Group, the author Samantha Power, Nobel laureate in literature Elie Wiesel, and Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court Luis Moreno-Ocampo also have their say.
The publicist and Africa expert Hans Christian Buch will talk to the director and producer Annie Sundberg following the film.
Attendance is free of charge. Screening and discussion will be in English.
When: Wednesday, 21 March 2007, 7.30 pm
Where: Jewish Museum Berlin, Old Building, ground level (Auditorium), Lindenstr. 9-14, 10969 Berlin
For more information on the film see www.thedevilcameonhorseback.com
For more information on Brian Steidle Brian Steidle.