“Startling and strangely poetic”
ABOUT THE ISSUE
The region of Northern Uganda was ravaged by one of Africa’s longest civil wars until 2006. For over 20 years, more than 65,000 children, some as young as five years old, have been kidnapped by Uganda’s anti-government rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), and forced to serve as child soldiers and sex slaves.
Under the command of LRA leader Joseph Kony, these children have been terrorized into committing the worst atrocities, even killing their own families. Lord’s Children follows three former LRA soldiers who escaped from the bush and have since taken refuge in a rehabilitation center.
ABOUT THE FILM
WIDE ANGLE is with the center’s counselors as they help the physically and emotionally scarred children put their lives back together. Jennifer Akelo was abducted by the LRA when she was nine years old, handed a gun and trained to fight. Raped by a rebel soldier, Jennifer now fears that she is HIV positive. Kilama, 13, is rejected by his grandmother who is fearful of his turbulent past. Homeless, he wanders to the nearby city, like thousands of other children, in constant fear of being re-kidnapped by the rebels.
At a young age, Francis witnessed two children executed with machetes for not following orders. Terrified of a similar fate, he fled and now hopes to be reunited with his mother. As these children piece their lives together, the LRA continues to carry out attacks in the region. While the ICC has issued an arrest warrant for Kony in 2005, he remains at large hiding in the jungle of neighboring Congo, where he and his followers have been accused of more child kidnappings.