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The Devil Came On Horseback

2007 ,    »  -   16 Comments
Ratings: 7.38/10 from 8 users.

The Devil Came On HorsebackThe Devil Came on Horseback presents a first-person account of the genocide in Darfur. Former Marine Captain Brian Steidle joined the African Union in 2004 to help monitor the cease-fire in Sudan. As he puts it, All I had was a camera, a pen, and paper. I was totally unprepared for what I'd see.

An unarmed military civilian, he describes his observations, via voice-over and audio recordings, as filmmakers Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern alternate between their contemporary footage and his images of slaughtered civilians and incinerated villages. When his contract ends, Steidle leaves in disillusionment. He wrote his reports and took his pictures, but nothing changed.

Since reporters lacked the same degree of access, he goes to The New York Times, and they publish his photographs. The soldier-turned-activist proceeds to spread the word everywhere he can. Aside from Steidle, the film features his sister Gretchen Wallace, founder of Global Grassroots (an organization working with female victims in Sudan and Rwanda), and Senator Barack Obama, who has also made Darfur his personal mission.

The title comes from a loose translation of janjaweed, the government-backed Arab militias behind the atrocities to which Steidle bore witness. (Steidle and his sister use the same title for the book they wrote together.) As in their previous documentary, The Trials of Darryl Hunt, Sundberg and Stern maintain a measured tone, but their subject's horrifying images speak for themselves. The Devil Came on Horseback is accompanied by Wallace's Supporting Survivors, a short film about Global Grassroots.

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16 Comments / User Reviews

  1. mazzy

    Bone chilling.

  2. Dot
  3. Dot

    This is one of the most disturbing documentaries that I have ever watched, and I do not care to watch it a second time.

  4. nubian
  5. nubian

    i cant deny that my country's govt. (Sudanese govt) is committing crimes against its own citizens now and long before the Darfour conflict.
    and i have been reading and watching lots of materials about whats going on in Darfour almost everyday. i accessed to the JEM website ( justice and equality movement ).
    but really this (MOVIE) didnt provide furthermore enlightenment. on the contrary i felt ( just a feeling ) that the movie makers are just another (feeders).
    ill explain in more simple words:
    get an enthusiastic jobless (american) soldier with a camera, a handsome looking guy and he must talk first about his loving family, his beloved country etc. and send him to sudan. add some photos and interviews with the poor ppl and some warriors. polish all that with some Hollywood sound effects and voila..

  6. Norbonaut
  7. Norbonaut

    To Nubian:

    I think it would provide more enlightenment if you go to these region/s and provide us with information.

  8. Anonymous
  9. Anonymous

    People killing people do not deserve to live..
    People in all race are all created equal!!
    Why? Are you an animal? Do you have tail?
    No! That is because we're all human...

  10. Fred
  11. Fred

    Interesting documentary which certainly explains what the Darfur situation is about. I'm suprised to read the comment by Nubian who might have some truth in his words- however the blatant evidence given by just 1 documentary like this one is overwhelming.

    The documentary does crash a lot, but if left to download for about 45 mins you will then see it without a problem.

    Worth watching...and there is another Rwanda going on as we speak (on a smaller scale perhaps)

  12. jean
  13. jean

    @Nubian-i think the point of the documentary is to create awareness about whats going on over there. Sadly, without the American soldier talking about his beloved country and the "hollywood sound effects"i do not think many people would watch it...So in that sense i think it is necessary.

  14. Inana
  15. Inana

    I have already seen the movie. It is worth watching and brings about awareness of the Genocide in Sudan. Our own government has labeled it as genocide, so the comment nubian posted makes me believe he is just another 'plant' put here to make us think it's all fake and that nothing is really going on. Watch the movie if you can and pass it along to everyone you know.

  16. Jake
  17. Jake

    one of the sadest documentaries i've ever seen :/
    its a must watch / eye-opener for the genocide in sudan

  18. Ramus
  19. Ramus

    So they sent in an accident prone marine that knows nothing about the country? Why? This film seems to be more about Cpt Brian Stiedle than the genocide. Plus the Japanese subtitles overide the english so you cant understand what some of them are saying. This is not a documentary its a video diary of an American with a sanctimonious attitude towards everything non american.

  20. Pierre
  21. Pierre

    First of all, the so-called "Nubian" may well be a manager or worker, sale's rep. for the oil company in Sudan.
    Second, he sure has what it take for such assignment!

    Ramus case? Not much of an IQ really. He obviously stare in mirror too often , hypnotized himselft.

    Now, the documentary by itself...
    Against what that thing "Ramus" commented, I prefer that the document was done by a sort of "Yongster".
    What ever his origin, way of file, I just couldn't care less.
    BECAUSE, there was facts, plenty of photos and movie clips.

    It makes me think of the holocaust deniers.
    When I see this sudanee Elite individual saying that all these photos and film clips are a "Montage" to make a bad figure to the sudanese government.
    How ridiculous can peoples stoop to?
    Only one sole photo on its own is far too many.
    Say that 99% of all photos are hoaxes, Ok!
    But only one sole realistic photo is plenty to send the killer to the electric chair.

    Humm... It's the Chineses who leads the oil exploitation over there? I over heard...?
    They sure don't fool around with hoaxes of "Hidden WMD"!
    No waist of saliva & money there.
    They're sort of a little "Rude" I'd say?

    I may sound a little sacastic but it's been a few months I began to view, listen historical documentaries.
    All sorts, from almost the prehistory passing by the Normans North England, midieval and so forth to the contemporary.

    I feel that when I go in the forest (Cross countrying), I think that the most dangerous beast of planet earth is not Grizzly bears or lions, no! It is the infamous homosapien!

    I'm serious!

  22. debbye
  23. debbye

    How can anyone think that they will not be held accountable in this life for their atrocities to other peoples? I don't believe in the "standard" heaven & hell rhetoric, but, as a person of conscience, i do think that we will pay for our deeds.

    if i could twitch my nose, [Bewitched] & cause all of the people who hate to disappear, how many people would be left?

  24. Pierre
  25. Pierre

    Debbye? Strange indeed since China is supposed to be a "Totalitarian" country without freedom rights such as free speech.
    However, I seen in this movie that the author (Former Marine Captain Brian Steidle) from whom the whole movie emane.
    He's the son of a family for which most if not allfamily menbers, father, uncles wives ants are dedicated army servants.
    His army honored retired father never appears in the movie.
    In short, B. Steidle mention that his father had a little itch seing his son working on that topic.
    Very different from his sister total support.

    As of now, the USA Gov. may have a little twich allowing the viewing of that movie at large on the web.
    If the viewing emanes from a USA IP#, the chineses could see that as a critic. And with a population of close to 2 billions, even though the average chinese citizen isn't exactly rich, when they create a "Pot" it sums up to $ billions! Billions that can be pretty usefull to other so-called democratic countries.
    Or maybe that Brian Steidle wants to protect his author rights? Who know!

    If you want to see that movie, search for the word : gdwsfvbwgtwa on google.
    But maybe you already found it?

  26. Josie Muir
  27. Josie Muir

    Wow. What an amazing man!

  28. terrence Kavanagh
  29. terrence Kavanagh

    Brian Steadle is not criticising, nor pointing his finger, despite the Janjaweed and the GOS murdering black Africans at will, Brian is simply using his documentary evidence to elicit a response from the rest of the world toward helping the Darfurians, and towards a greater awareness and acceptance of world wide responsibility, and aid to stamp out genocide, aparthied and other atrocities.
    Brian Steadle lost his quasi-military based career because he chose to do this, he knew the options and made his choice.
    We are all human, whether Sudanese, Chinese, Malaysian, Argentinean, whatever; we are all capable of genocide. Brian simply wants more awareness and assistance to be generated by his and other people's efforts.
    Whatever choices we make, we need to include kindness and equality, not superiority and violence; is that too much to ask of anyone claiming to be human? Genocide is so often ignored. Brian is attempting to overcome this ignorance by the world at large.
    You, nubian, are not the target audience of the movie, you are already aware, and you seem like a reasonable person, but so often reports of human rights violations are eclipsed by sports news, etc, unbelievable.
    Read the book The Devil Came on Horseback and you'll get an idea of the sheer frustration and anger Brian felt whilst a member of the AU.
    The movie may not be a well produced blockbuster, it's just a few people's fumbling efforts to help however they can.
    Thanks for reading...

  30. Peter S Lopez
  31. Peter S Lopez

    4/24/2012 ~ Just saw this on Netflix ~the whole movie. It speaks for itself as we continue to wake up humane being about this and other critical violations of humane rights in the world. Share truth! @Peta_de_Aztlan

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