The Devil Came on Horseback

25hors75 In this unflinching documentary chronicling the genocide in Darfur, former Marine Capt. Brian Steidle is forever transformed by the atrocities he witnesses as a military observer for the African Union. Armed only with his camera, Steidle records the killings of black Africans at the hands of Janjaweed militias funded by Sudan's Arab government. With his bleak photos, Steidle focuses attention on the horrors ignored by the rest of the world.
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Netflix Rating: 3.8
NYT Critics' Pick
Brutal, urgent, devastating -- the documentary "The Devil Came on Horseback" demands to be seen as soon as possible and by as many viewers as possible. Read the review
Rotten Tomatoes: Fresh 98%
Critics' score: 98   Audience score: 88   Rotten Tomatoes page
Top Rotten Tomatoes Critics

Filmmakers Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg chronicle his burgeoning activism in the face of the U.S. government's indifference as the government of Sudan works systematically to eradicate black Africans from the region. full review

Joshua Katzman, Chicago Reader

The gripping documentary The Devil Came on Horseback traces the change of heart that compelled Steidle to break military discipline in 2005 and offer his secret photographic evidence of Sudan's vicious ethnic cleansing to the New York Times. full review

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune

The Devil Came on Horseback is a documentary account of Steidle's ongoing efforts to educate the world about the violence he witnessed as an unarmed military observer for the African Union in 2004. full review

John Monaghan, Detroit Free Press

On all counts, the co-directors of this persuasive documentary set the right tone. full review

Bill Stamets, Chicago Sun-Times

With an estimated 400,000 dead since 2003, and 2.5 million Sudanese left homeless in the wake of the genocide, ignoring the story doesn't seem like a humane option. full review

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

The Devil Came on Horseback is a documentary about the genocide in that part of Africa, and the film's strength is that it shows us the horror, rather than tells us about it. It's painful to watch. full review

Richard Nilsen, Arizona Republic

An exceptionally powerful film driven by contradictory forces. full review

Steven Winn, San Francisco Chronicle

Too often the movies view the problems of Africa through Western eyes, but Devil turns that weakness to a literal strength, because Steidle could do nothing in his position except take photographs. full review

Ty Burr, Boston Globe

[A] searing documentary on the genocide in Darfur.

Duane Byrge, Hollywood Reporter

But The Devil Came on Horseback has galvanized audiences at film festivals around the world precisely because it presents, in its calm, measured fashion and without much ceremony, pictures that nobody really wants to see. full review

Andrew O'Hehir,

The failure of world conscience haunts The Devil Came on Horseback. full review

John Anderson, Newsday

Brutal, urgent, devastating -- the documentary The Devil Came on Horseback demands to be seen as soon as possible and by as many viewers as possible.

Manohla Dargis, New York Times

Devil ponders the optimism/pessimism = apathy/x equation as honestly and studiously as any doc I've ever seen. full review

Rob Nelson, Village Voice

Documentarians Ricki Stein and Annie Sundberg do a good job of explaining, through [interviewee] Steidle, the complex conflicts in the region. full review

Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times

Keeps visual dazzle to a minimum, and applies subtle techniques to provide a needed background to current events. full review

Robert Koehler, Variety
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