We Are the Ones: Healers of South Sudan (educational)

  • Directed by: Michael Skinner, Jon Michael Shink
  • Produced by: Michael Skinner, Jon Michael Shink

    Released: 2014
    Running Time: 62 min
    Language of Dialogue and Subtitled: English; Dinka; Nuer; Arabic; The non-English portions are subtitled in English
    Subjects: Human Rights, Health, Multicultural Studies

When tribal feuds ignite a firestorm of violence, three surgeons unite for peace.

Francis grew up with little schooling during the Sudanese Civil War. Ajak is a Lost Boy who has returned to the tribe he fled as a child. Both men are protégés of Glenn, a grizzled, but brilliant American surgeon. WE ARE THE ONES follows these healers as they fight to prevent illness in the world's newest country. After tribal divides erupt into violent raids that threaten their clinics, these men embark on a journey to protect their patients and bring peace to their people. WE ARE THE ONES blends vérité techniques with cinematic visuals to bring the audience a visceral account of the constant war between life and death in South Sudan.

We Are The Ones (Trailer) from Collective Eye Films on Vimeo.



  • Official Selection, IFP Spotlight Documentaries Project Forum (2011)
  • Ron Kovic Peace Prize Finalist (Trailer) MY HERO Project (2014)
  • My Hero Award Winner (Trailer) MY HERO Project (2014)
  • World Premiere, Montreal International Black Film Festival (2014)
  • U.S. Premiere, Tallgrass International Film Festival (2014)
  • Official Seletion, San Diego Black Film Festival (2015)
  • Official Selection, Toronto Black Film Festival (2015)
  • Los Angeles Premiere, Pan African Film Festival (2015)
  • Official Selection, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival (2015)
  • Official Selection, Newport Beach Festival (2015) 


"The main subjects of this documentary teach us all to take action, give back, and fight for what we believe in, even in a country like South Sudan with constant civil wars and violent raids. Quite an inspiring story AND is a must-see." - Joyce Fuerza (Programming Coordinator, Montreal International Black Film Festival)

"Healing reaches far beyond the medicine in this beautiful cinematic wonder. WE ARE THE ONES captures the accomplishments of apprentice doctors and their teacher in the midst of tribal warfare. Their story captivated our audiences, making it one of the most talked about films of the festival. This portrait of the have-nots and heroes in South Sudan is so compelling, the images so stunning, it will stay with you." - Gretchen Mitchell (Programming Director, Tallgrass Film Festival)

"Filmmakers Jon Michael Shink and Michael Skinner's powerful documentary traces the efforts made by two doctors in South Sudan - an American named Glenn Geelhoed, and a member of the Dinka tribe, Ajak Abraham - to build bridges between the major warring tribes in this long-divided nation... WE ARE THE ONES captures their negotiations with leaders, all of whom understand both the direness of their situation and the unreliability of South Sudan's government in dealing with the root causes (mostly poverty) of perpetual war. A moving profile of two heroic men working to do good in a hellish war zone, this is highly recommended." - Video Librarian

"“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Gandhi would have recognized his words in action as portrayed in this poignant documentary of health care workers in war-torn South Sudan... We Are the Ones is a beautifully realized work of art in addition to social statement. The production values are excellent, and the film moves with the elegance of brightly colored native fabric. This documentary would make a wonderful addition to any global health or sociology collections." - Educational Media Reviews