The Children’s War

DVD Release: June 22, 2012
The Children’s War
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Synopsis

For the last 22 years, the nightmare has begun at sundown in Acholiland, Northern Uganda. Under the cover of darkness, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has kidnapped, enslaved, raped and forcibly conscripted more than 20,000 children, some as young as six years old. Those who survive their initiation into the rebel army of self-proclaimed spirit medium, Joseph Kony, are forced to kill their own people, including their one-time playmates and their village elders. Those who survive the ravages of war must now endure a truncated life from HIV/AIDS or starvation. They must also find a way of life among corrupt government soldiers whose protection from the LRA rebels may be accompanied by heinous abuses of power. In “The Children’s War,” survivors finally give voice to atrocities suffered and performed. At great personal risk, rebel commanders, elders, teachers, social workers and the children themselves reveal what has been obscured to the world, until recently. Through raw and tender dialogue, the audience sees that, indeed, hope still stirs in their hearts. At the close of her interview, 14-year-old Atto Jennifer is asked if she has a final message to help others understand the events in Northern Uganda. A schoolgirl’s giggle escapes her lips before she replies with quiet sincerity, “There is nothing more I can say. You have seen with your own eyes.”

Dove Review

“The Children’s War” is an eye-opening and compelling film about the atrocities against the people of Northern Uganda. The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), led by an evil man named Joseph Kony, beats and wounds teens, such as 17-year-old Tito. Kony was arrested for 33 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, although he was still at large during the time of this documentary’s release. A teen girl named Jennifer, who wants to be a nun, speaks of her rape by soldiers, as well as the rape of her sister Evelyn. She also sings a hymn, in an amazing display of her courage and faith. One former soldier, initially captured by the LRA, now dedicates himself to nursing.

The scenes in the film are mind boggling, with children’s corpses seen laying on the ground, and a child being struck with a club, not to mention the comments about the many children and women who were raped and beaten. This documentary is not easy to watch at times, but it does a good job in showing the amazing value of hope and how so many of these victims, such as Jennifer, have clung to it. We are pleased to award “The Children’s War” our Faith Based Seal, due to some objectionable violent scenes. Still, the portrayal of the children’s spirit is to be commended.

Content Description

Sex: Comments about the rape of women and children; one girl tells the story of her and her sister's rape; girl's mother speaks of how she pleaded for her daughters to be spared from rape; statement that the girls suffered injuries due to the rape; a statement that a woman's husband rejected her after her rape; comments about H.I.V.
Language: None
Violence: Several scenes of violence; corpses on the ground, including children; corpse of child is struck with a club; comments about the murder of children; two boys kick each other; photos of men with rifles; archive footage of soldiers shooting guns; a fowl of some kind is seen being killed, cut with a knife; photo of young man with missing arm that was cut off; the mention of ears and lips being cut; a badly wounded leg, injured from a shooting; doctor taking care of leg; young man says he lost his eye from being beaten; bullet holes seen in buildings; man's injured back from a beating; statement that a man had his top commanders executed.
Drugs: The mention of alcohol usage.
Nudity: Shirtless young men and shirtless children.
Other: Kids sleep under verandas; man says spirits spoke to him; mistreatment of children and various adults.

Info

Company: Cinedigm
Director: Andy Krakower
Genre: Documentary
Runtime: 64 min.
Industry Rating: Not Rated
Starring: Joseph Kony
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter