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Matt Dillon Documents Sudanese Struggles

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," December 29, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We heard that each child, if the child is a boy, then it will be more than 50 cows.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: More than — if it's a boy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But if it is a girl, maybe 50.

GRAPHIC: There are over 300 reported child abductions in Jonglei State every year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Their parents cannot do anything because these men come with guns and attack them.

MATT DILLON, ACTOR/DIRECTOR: So they take them right from the parents?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RICH LOWRY, GUEST HOST: That was a scene from the documentary "South Sudan: An Enduring Struggle." The film was produced and directed by Academy Award nominee Matt Dillon.

Sean recently sat down with him to talk about the serious humanitarian crisis facing that region after decades of civil war.

• Video: Watch Sean's interview

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: What made you want to do this?

DILLON: Well, Refugees International is an organization I've been involved with for a while, and I think one of the concerns facing with South Sudan right now is that, since the peace agreement was signed in 2005 ending 23 years of civil war, there's been — people have been returning, and there's really nothing there for them to return to.

And I think recently — because right around the time the peace agreement was signed, Darfur blew up, so all the attention was diverted to Darfur.

HANNITY: I read about the documentary. Security is a big issue. You've got people with AK-47s walking all over the place. You've got poverty and misery. You've got kids that, when they go to school, they have to — actually have to bring their own chairs with them, because it's that desperate.

DILLON: Right.

HANNITY: Explain the conditions.

DILLON: Well, I mean, the conditions are hard. I mean, 23 years of civil war. All of the damage that was done primarily was in the south, in South Sudan, which is where we were. It's an area bigger than the state of Texas. And it's got less than 10 miles of paved road. So there's really nothing there for them.

I think the people there struggle — have, you know, struggled. They have the same — they want the same things we want, and yet, they struggle to get very basic needs, like clean, fresh drinking water. Security was the biggest issue that we saw everywhere.

HANNITY: Yes, and child abduction is pretty common. You know for a fact. You met families who had had their family members abducted?

DILLON: Oh, yes. This gentleman here that was in the — that we interviewed, the principal of the school, told us and started naming off kids. The kids started to talk about their friends who had disappeared.

Now, this has to do with the tribal tension that exists, and it has existed there for generations.

HANNITY: Let me ask you...

DILLON: It's unacceptable that this is what's going on there, because there's no local — there's no police force there. There's no security...

HANNITY: Yes.

DILLON: ... for the people, to protect the kids going to and from school.

HANNITY: You were telling me before you came on the air, you're not very political. You don't follow politics that much. You're not...

DILLON: Well, to a certain extent, yes.

HANNITY: But you're not — you're not known as a Hollywood liberal. Let me be — let me put it more bluntly. You're not known as a guy — that phrase you've heard many times. Are you — do you consider yourself a...

DILLON: Well, I kind of am a Hollywood liberal. I don't consider myself a Hollywood liberal, but I have my convictions and my beliefs.

HANNITY: You have your — you have more liberal views than I do.

DILLON: I'd say so. Yes. Oh, absolutely.

HANNITY: Well, then, I have a lot of work to do. That's all — first of all, that's what that means.

But I want to ask you this question, because I kind of get sick and tired of — of people not appreciating the United States. We're the most generous country on the face of the earth. We help countries. We've helped the Sudan. We've helped African nations.

DILLON: Absolutely we've helped Sudan.

HANNITY: We do.

DILLON: I think that we were probably — I mean, I think it's something that we did that was great. I mean, we were really behind the CPA, the comprehensive peace agreement. We were — I think ourselves and the U.K., Norway and Kenya were the four countries, but primarily us. And we did — I mean, it was — it's an unbelievable thing that we've done.

The trouble is, the attention has been diverted. So a lot of the promises that were made haven't been made good on.

HANNITY: You said — you were describing...

DILLON: But now there is this new envoy, and I think he's going to make a difference.

HANNITY: But you're describing conditions where women have to go miles for water and bring it back to their families, where kids are abducted, where schools have no basic supplies, where there's no opportunity for the people to make money.

One of the things that frustrates me as a conservative is even the poorest people in America — and I've been to some of the poorest housing projects in America. Techwood Homes in Atlanta. I've been in some of the projects in East Rockaway in the Bronx, in New York.

And it seems that people on the left, you know, they say, "Oh, America is not a land of opportunity." But — in even the poorest areas I have been to, there's microwaves. There's televisions. There's stereos. There's washers and dryers. There's — you know, there's the luxuries of life.

Does this change your perspective about those that think that America maybe is not...

DILLON: I go — well, in my apartment, I've got — I've got seven water points where I can get fresh water in my apartment.

HANNITY: That's my point.

DILLON: These villages...

HANNITY: Can't get it.

DILLON: ... in South Sudan.

HANNITY: How far away?

DILLON: Women have to walk an hour. Then they have to stand in line for two hours to get fresh water. And come home...

HANNITY: And there's a lot of tension.

DILLON: A lot of tension.

HANNITY: They've got to carry that water home.

DILLON: They've got to carry this water home. And they've got to do this every day. This causes tension, because you've got the host community, who is now absorbing the returnees who have come back after years and years of fighting. Now they're returning.

There's not enough. There's not enough in the way of resources for these people.

HANNITY: See, here's my last question. When you compare this experience...

DILLON: This is part of the problem: resources.

HANNITY: But here's — here's my question.

DILLON: South Sudan, that's the problem across the board.

HANNITY: Based on this experience, which I think probably had a pretty profound impact on you, based on everything that I'm reading about this, do you think Americans appreciate the goodness that they have every day. Do we take it for granted?

DILLON: Well, I think absolutely we take it for granted, especially if you take a trip here, if you see what I saw.

And yet, you see these kids and the people. The people are dedicated to getting their children education, an education. And yet, they're unable to — they're unable to get these very basic needs met. They're going to school, and they're sitting on the ground under the trees with a teacher and a chalkboard.

HANNITY: Look...

DILLON: Very few teachers. Not enough teachers.

HANNITY: I think it's great that this is a cause you're passionate about. You're bringing attention to it. And you went out there, and you're trying to help people that are in desperate need.

And we — when you come back the next time, I want to ask you what it was like, at least in the movies, to be married to Kate Hudson. Because I...

DILLON: We'll get into that. That was great in the movies. But if you want to find out more about this...

HANNITY: The documentary.

DILLON: Yes. RefugeesInternational.org. You can find out more about — you can learn more about what's going on in South Sudan and what you can do.

HANNITY: All right, appreciate it, Matt.

DILLON: Thanks.

HANNITY: Thanks, man. Appreciate it. Thank you very much.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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