Recently our local cinema offered a couple free showings of the movie "The Heart of Nuba." Knowing that there was the potential for this to be both intense and graphically violent, I went by myself to a showing.
This movie is a documentary about Tom Catena, an American doctor who went to Sudan to serve as a missionary doctor in a hospital in the war-torn Nuba mountain region. Because of the violence in the region (there are frequent bombings of civilian targets), the missionaries who worked in the hospital were encouraged to leave.
Catena, arguing that his life was not more valuable than the lives of the people he was serving, refused to leave. This left him as the only doctor serving in the only hospital in a region inhabited by a million people.
The documentary shows the daily routine of the doctor and his patients, including the need to run for safety to foxholes whenever an airplane went overhead. In the process we see a handful of gruesome bombing wounds, and some short segments of surgical procedures. If you struggle with the sight of blood, this movie will distress you.
It may very well be, however, that the blood will be the least distressing thing you see in this documentary. The day after I saw it, a friend asked me what I thought of it. I said, "Three times today an airplane flew overhead, and I didn't once dive for a foxhole. The safety I experience here is something I regularly take for granted."
Here's one more important thought: many people living in the relative safety of our country have a very hard time understanding why people would consider leaving their homes as refugees instead of "staying to fight." Watching this video may very well help us obtain some better perspectives on the kinds of attrocities refugees are fleeing.
With a caution about scenes of bombing wounds and surgery footage, this documentary is highly recommended.