Sudan documentary demonstrates "active faith"
January 23, 2009

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With Open Eyes tells the story of the continuing tragedy of genocide in Sudan and will serve as a focal point for Bryan’s Day of Prayer, Thursday, Feb. 19, 10 am, in Rudd Auditorium.

A feature-length documentary, With Open Eyes records the experiences and impressions of five Americans during their extraordinary journey throughout Africa’s largest and most oppressed country.  The film chronicles the Americans' encounters with Sudanese men, women, and children whose lives have collided with the two-plus decades of genocide in their homeland.

Matt Benson, Bryan’s dean of spiritual formation, said chapel programs this semester will explore the concept of active faith. The film was chosen for the Day of Prayer so the Bryan community can “gain a better understanding of the conditions in this war-torn region as well as promote ways we may be able to act redemptively on the people’s behalf.”

Some of the film's cast members as well as J. Frank Harrison III, the film’s executive producer and chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola Consolidated in Charlotte, NC, will be at Bryan for the film’s screening. In his letter in the film’s fact book, Mr. Harrison explains his motivation for visiting Sudan and making the film. “What we saw was tragic and brutal—ethnic cleansing of a people who are denied the most basic human freedoms. This was the basis for our film With Open Eyes. I believe this film powerfully and clearly communicates the plight of the people and the reality that anyone can help them.”

Mr. Benson said the Bryan Student Government Association’s ministry council chose the message of the film to develop plans for the Day of Prayer. Also, Dr. Ron Petitte’s Contemporary World class has adopted the situation in Sudan as its semester strategic planning assignment. The students will meet with the film's executive producer, Robert Walker, Jan. 26 to explore how Bryan students might help his film company strategically position the film for significance.

Related Links

  • With Open Eyes Foundation - this foundation's mission is to "speak up for those suffering around the world and provide them with relief, hope, and change."  Financial contributions go toward providing clean water, nutritious food, medical assistance, and education.
  • SudanCan - a campaign to help the people of Sudan by creating awareness of the plight of the Sudanese people, facilitating critical assistance for them, and providing a vehicle for public advocacy.