Documentary Film: Rebuilding Hope

Rebuilding HOPE documentary film poster

“Rebuilding Hope,” the work of award-winning documentary film maker Jen Marlowe, has brought Gabriel’s story and the Ariang School project to the attention of film audiences worldwide. The film chronicles the struggle for survival and the ultimate triumph of Gabriel and his two Sudanese friends, Koor Garang Chol and Samuel Garang Mayuol. Their journeys from “Lost Boys” to college graduates, American citizens, and directors of relief efforts provide the foundation for Marlowe’s moving film. “This film isn’t just a movie about Sudan. It’s not just a movie about refugees returning home. It’s about identity and family, and a central question all of us confront: What is my responsibility in the world? What can I do from where I am and what I have?” Jen Marlowe, Director of Rebuilding Hope

Awards and Accomplishments:

  • Most Transformative Film Award, Crossroad Film Festival in Jackson, Mississippi (2010)
  • Silver Palm Award, Mexico International Film Festival, Mexico (2010)
  • Honorable Mention, Fargo Film Festival, Fargo, North Dakota (2010)


Official Selections of the Film:

  • Paris International Human Rights Film Festival (March, 2009)
  • International Film Festival, South Africa (November 2009)
  • Zimbabwe International Film Festival, Zimbabwe (December 2009)
  • North of Boston Film Festival, Boston, MA (November 2010)
  • The Tricycle film festival, London, UK (2010
  • The Seattle’s True Independent Film Festival, Washington (2010)
  • The Okanagan International Film Festival, Canada (2010)
  • The 7 Island International Film Festival in Mumbai, India (2010)


Film Endorsements:

American writer and Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Walker called “Rebuilding Hope” an amazing film. It is, said Walker, “a deeply moving study in loss and suffering, in courage, and in wisdom about the meaning of life as humans that seems as old as the continent of Africa.” “The Lost Boys of Africa have found a way to show us something we in the West might never have known or even guessed,” says Alice Walker. The film is, in Walker’s words, “a remarkable teaching.” Proceeds from film screenings of “Rebuilding Hope” support education, health care, and the building of wells. To arrange for a screening event, contact the Foundation at


“I knew I would see a lot of human suffering in South Sudan because of the war. I needed to return home with “extra eyes” so that I could bring back what I would see on the ground. I wanted to return with what the camera captured and what the journalists recorded on the trip so more people worldwide would be educated about the devastating impacts of the war in Sudan.” ~ Gabriel Bol Deng

Watch a clip from the movie:

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