Warmly affecting, sometimes disturbing human-interest story centers on Sudanese orphans, repeatedly displaced by endless civil wars, who have ended up in Seattle. “A Great Wonder,” which follows “Lost Boys of Sudan” in treating the same subject, encapsulates the improved fates of scores of young people around the world, and a PBS sale wouldn’t be beyond wonderment.
Roughly 17,000 children were chased around and out of Southern Sudan in late-’80s fighting, with some drawn into war and some escaping into refugee camps in Africa and abroad. Well-made pic focuses on a number of teenagers — “lost boys and girls” — lucky enough to land in the Emerald City. Pic’s emphasis is on Martha, who slowly comes to trust the white family fostering her; Abraham, who feels he and others are being used as cheap labor by their trailer-park-type foster parents; and the outgoing Santino, already in a group home for older boys. Subtext, sensitively handled by helmer Kim Shelton, is that good kids like these, already traumatized by sustained terror, are getting further pummeled by post-9-11 breastbeating in America.