Darfur NowFor the first time in history, the US Government has declared a genocide while it is ongoing. And the situation in Darfur has now been brought to the screen by director Ted Braun. In bringing his film to life, Braun sought the musical skills of an unlikely composer for a documentary with such a call to action.

Let’s be clear here: composer Graeme Revell’s abilities are not being called into question here. But with a history of rather violent films that begins with the Billy Zane / Nicole Kidman suspense thriller Dead Calm and includes Child’s Play 2, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, Street Fighter, The Basketball Diaries, The Crow, Freddy vs. Jason, Chronicles of Riddick, Planet Terror, and the Sin City films (to name a few), Revell definitely seems like an interesting choice for a humanitarian documentary.

And though Revell does make good use of his thrilling background, he also proves that a true professional can work in any genre. His score for Darfur Now showcases a broader range of ability than some of his other films have afforded him. As with any African music, the rhythms play an important role here, constantly providing a backdrop for the varying high-pitched strings to play out over. And Revell is sure to keep his drumbeats varied as well. There is a reverential tone that sticks around from track to track, providing the underlying theme of the entire score, but every track has a life and rhythm of its own.

The fast-paced and driven “Meeting” begins slowly and then breaks into an all-out banging drum session. In similar fashion, the intense “Atrocities” begins with staccato strings being plucked and quick wind instruments before building into an oppressive march. Nearly ever track ends with a quiet fade, typically seeming to signify something along the lines of someone laying a heavy thought on your shoulders before walking away and saying, “Now think about that.”

The more upbeat and vocal “Adam’s Victory” provides some of the rare inspirational music on the album, as does the deceptively simplistic “Don Talks to Young People.” But, ultimately, it’s the final track, entitled “Children of the World,” that seems to embody the quiet plea for help that the film itself is asking for, opening with a lingering guitar solo that leads into a breezy and memorable melody.

Zach’s Rating: B
Perfect For: A haunting reminder of the tragedies occuring every day
Stay Away if: You don’t want to hear another semi-thrilling film score

To purchase the soundtrack for Darfur Now, visit Amazon
For more reviews by Zach Freeman, visit HubPages

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