Lost Boys of Sudan

2004, 87 minutes
Directors/Producers: Megan Mylan and Jon Shenk
Distributed by Actual Films

Santino Majok Chuor looks for his name on the flight list posted in Kakuma Refugee camp. August, 2001. Photo: Jon Shenk

Additional Resources



La Ciudad/The City  (1999, 88 minutes)

Director: David Riker
Distributor: Zeitgiest Films (zeitgeistfilms.com)

Four stories of present day immigrant life in New York’s Latino community.

Daughter from Danang  (2002, 81 minutes)

Directors: Gail Dolgin and Vicente Franco
Distributor: Balcony Releasing in Association with Cowboy Pictures (balconyfilm.com), PBS (shoppbs.org)

A young Asian American woman from Tennessee returns to Vietnam to reunite with her birth mother.

First Person Plural  (2000, 56 minutes)

Director: Deann Borshay Lim
Distributor: NAATA (naatanet.org)

A woman adopted from Korea by American parents as a small girl, returns to Korea to unite her biological and adoptive families.

New Americans  (2004, 140 minutes x 3)

Produced by: Kartemquin Educational Films
Distributor: PBS (shoppbs.org)

Series follows a group of immigrants and refugees of different nationalities as they learn what it means to be new Americans in the 21st century.


Refugee  (2002, 60 minutes)

Directors: Spencer Nakasako and Mike Siv
Distributor: VYDC (vydc.org), NAATA (naatanet.org)

Follows three young men from San Francisco ’s Tenderloin district as they travel to Cambodia to find their families.


Well-Founded Fear (2000, 119 minutes)

Directors: Michael Camerini and Shari Robertson

Distributor: The Epidavros Project (epidavros.org)

Provides a behind the scenes look at the INS and the system that decides which political refugees get to stay in America and which ones get sent back.



Bok, Francis. Escape from Slavery: The True Story of My Ten Years in Captivity and My Journey to Freedom in America.  New York, NY: St. Martin 's Press; 1st edition (October 14, 2003). ISBN 0312306245

Deng, Benson, Alephonsion Deng & Benjamin Ajak with Judy Bernstein. They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The True Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan. Boulder, CO: PublicAffairs, 2005. ISBN 1-58648-269-6

Deng, Francis Mading. The Dinka of the Sudan. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press; Reprint edition (February 1, 1984). ISBN 0881330825

Jok, Jok Madut. War and Slavery in Sudan.  Ethnography of Political Violence series. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8122-1762-4

NCCJ National Conference for Community and Justice. Intergroup Relations in the U.S. – Promising Practices. http://www.nccj.org. ISBN 0-9665452-2-2

Nezer, Mende and Damien Lewis. Slave.  Boulder, CO : PublicAffairs, 2004. ISBN 1586482122

One Day We Had to Run!  London: Evans Brothers & UNHCR. 1994. ISBN 0 237 52095 8

The children’s stories and paintings in this book give a striking picture of the experiences of refugee children through their own eyes. These are set against background information about Somalia, Sudan and Ethiopia, which helps to explain why refugees have been forced to flee from these countries.

Pipher, Mary. The Middle of Everywhere: the World’s Refugees Come to Our Town. New York, NY: Harcourt, c2002 Harvest Books. ISBN 0156027372

Power, Samantha. A Problem from Hell:  America and the Age of Genocide.  New York, NY: Perennial, 2003. ISBN 0060541644

Salgado, Sebastiao. Migrations. Aperture; (April 5, 2000). ISBN 0893818917

Scroggins, Deborah. Emma’s War. New York, NY: Pantheon Books, c2002. ISBN 0375703772

For the Classroom

The many themes raised by Lost Boys of Sudan can be rich topics for classroom exploration. Explore these themes and learn about how teachers have used the film.

Educational Study Guide


The study guide includes sample classroom lesson ideas collected from several middle school, high school, and college instructors who have successfully used the documentary in their classrooms. The lesson ideas provide creative approaches for sharing the story of the “Lost Boys” and refugee stories in your classes. The study guide also contains nine thematic essays by leading journalists and scholars working in fields related to issues that arise in the documentary. These essays provide valuable background material on the civil war in Sudan, the current crisis in Sudan’s Darfur region, information on refugees and refugee resettlement in the United States, and much more.

Discussion Guide


The Discussion Guide contains background information on Sudan as well as ideas for how to set-up screenings of the film and panel discussions in your hometown. You will also find here helpful information about how to lead a meaningful and civil conversation about the themes raised by the film.

Web Sites

Learn more about the history of Sudan, the causes of the war, religious freedom, the current humanitarian situation and the peace process:

Human Rights Watch

International Crisis Group

Committee on Conscience, U.S. Holocaust Museum

Washington Post special on the Dinka and Nuer

There are currently 14 million refugees in the world. Learn more about who refugees are, why they’ve had to flee their homes and the organizations that work to support refugees internationally:


United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

US Committee for Refugees

The International Rescue Committee

Doctors Without Borders

Migration Policy Institute

Amnesty International USA
Since September 11th, the number of refugees admitted to the U.S. has slowed dramatically. Learn more about the U.S. Refugee Program, refugee related policy issues before Congress, the 12 agencies contracted by the U.S government to support refugees and what you can do to support them:

Refugee Council USA
A consortium of national resettlement agencies and leading human rights groups

The International Rescue Committee

U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement

Additional Links
Visit the websites below for additional lesson plan ideas focusing on Sudan, human rights, refugee and immigration issues.

Lost Boys of Sudan POV/PBS site

NewsHour Sudan Genocide

Teen Experiences of War

An Interactive Web Series on the Concept of Borders

Role of Ethnic Identity in Society

The Immigrant Experience Modern

The Immigrant Experience Historical - Library of Congress

The Immigrant Experience Historical - Angel Island


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