Nicole Kidman, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Catherine Keener and her husband, Dermot Mulroney, weren’t the main stars at the premiere of “God Grew Tired of Us” (film review on page 12) on Monday night.
“This isn’t about me,” said Kidman, who narrates the award-winning documentary, opening today, that details the odyssey of three Sudanese who arrive in the U.S. after wandering through the African wilderness for a decade to avoid civil war, famine and disease. “It’s about a remarkably genuine, generous and humorous trio who survive and prevail.”
Mulroney, a childhood friend of director Christopher Quinn, and Keener brought Kidman and Pitt on board when they were shown an early cut of the film shot between 2001 and 2005. “This came together because we’re a bunch of friends who care about the world and wanted to support a project depicting reality in Sudan,” said Mulroney, who was joined at the premiere by Ed Norton, Roseanne Barr and Johnny Knoxville.
Pitt executive-produced the film, which opens today, and Jolie became a “publicist” the second she stepped on the red carpet at the Pacific Design Center. “It’s important to see this film to understand what’s going on in Sudan,” Jolie said. “I want to help get the message out because things get worse there every single day.”
Electricity, cars, cold food, salty food, sweet food, dog food, alarm clocks and shaving cream initially befuddled the Sudanese when they arrived on the East Coast. Now they’re trying to use their experience, the film and their American friends to help their war-torn country.
“The people here tonight understand our culture and our problems,” said John Bul Dau, who launched the nonprofit American Care for Sudan Foundation (www.acsudanfoundation.org). “They’ve helped put smiles on the faces of African people.”