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'Don't Cry for Me Sudan', a documentary film on the dedicated life of the late Rev. John Lee Tae-suk, S.D.B., attracted more than 120 thousand movie-goers since its release in September, 2010. It is quite a surprising box-office record for a documentary film in Korea, all the more because there was no such a dazzling promotion for this film like other movies. Irrespective of religious affiliation, age and sex, many people who watched the movie shared their deeply touched hearts with others on-line as well as off-line. In November, 2010 the film will be put on the screen in Los Angeles, USA, and it was already sent to Germany to be shown at the 61. Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin (the 61st Berlin International Film Festival), to be held from February 10 to 20, 2011.

 

The late Rev. John Lee Tae-suk (1962-2010) had been a medical practitioner before he was called to be a member of the Society of St. Francis de Sales. After the priestly ordination in 2001, he soon started to practice missionary work in Tonj, a small town of war-trodden South Sudan, where those least brothers of the Lord greeted him warmly. He was the first Korean missionary priest for South Sudan. He was a priest, a doctor, a teacher, a technician, a musician and even a handyman, becoming everything for everyone he cared so much. He established a hospital and a school, as well as organized a youth brass band in Tonj. However, Rev. Lee died of colon cancer all of a sudden on January 14, 2010. It was said that he invoked St. John Bosco and uttered his last words, 'Don't worry. Everything is good.'

 

With the film many people even including non-Catholics could learn the life of the late Rev. Lee who humbly followed in the Lord's footsteps. The Sudan Youth Education Foundation, which used to give support to Rev. Lee, could witness the drastically increasing number of its donators on the regular basis, from 3,000 to more than 10,000, after the release of the film. On top of that, many people including doctors expressed their intention to volunteer to help the Sudanese in Tonj. Such flood of concern and donation are blooming now into hope and life. The desperately needed medical supplies are now satisfied, new buildings of hospital and school are now under construction, the youth brass band can play music again, and a container to hold the medical supplies and equipments is installed. Many people are entertaining the vision that the seeds of hope and life sown by the late Rev. Lee on the field of Tonj, will bear fruits in abundance.

 


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