In late 2006, former U.S. Marine captain Brian Steidle traveled to Darfur, Sudan, with the African Union peacekeeping force -- and found his life and perspective on the world forever changed. Devastated and racked with horror by the Janjaweed-driven genocide in the western region of the country (which has claimed 400,000 lives), Steidle set out to work against these atrocities -- atrocities systematically denied and publicly buried by the corrupt Sudanese government. Despite his initial hesitancies, Steidle ultimately agreed to plunge headfirst into the conflict -- and to work toward achieving social change not through violence but through peaceful, humanitarian efforts. His efforts carried him to a myriad of countries and multiple continents; throughout, Steidle took over 1,000 photographs to document the horrors, thus spreading awareness of this crisis to the remainder of the world and roundly defeating Sudanese governmental denials of the genocide. In their nonfiction work The Devil Came on Horseback
, documentarians Ricki Stern
and Annie Sundberg
bring viewers along with Steidle on his intensely moving personal journey, and shed light on a region of the world rapidly plunging into its own inescapable hell.