Review: The Children’s War DVD

STUDIO: Cinema Libre | DIRECTOR: Andrew Krakower

RELEASE DATE: 6/22/10 | PRICE: DVD $19.98

BONUSES: interview with Uganda’s Joseph Kony

SPECS: NR | 64 min. | Documentary | 1.85:1 widescreen | stereo

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Filmmaker Andy Krakower originally wanted to document the successful reversal of the AIDS infection rate in Northern Uganda, but his documentary eventually evolved into a film about the plight of the Uganda villagers—the Acholi people—against both the Lord’s Resistance Army, led by rebel leader Joseph Kony, and the corrupt government soldiers who are supposed to protect the people.

Although some of the talking heads are difficult to understand and subtitles would have been helpful, The Children’s War effectively conveys the dangers that the Acholi people must face. The parents try to protect their children from being abducted into the LRA, who are ruthless in its recruitment process and even more so to detractors of the army. Meanwhile, the government soldiers enlisted to protect the villagers from abductions and fight against the LRA are instead arresting men for false charges and raping women.

The documentary film boasts clips of the only interview with Kony, the reclusive guerrilla leader who seeks to overthrow the government with his rebel forces. A particularly touching account in the film was one about a young woman named Jennifer, who was raped by a government soldier and became HIV positive as a result.

When your government becomes as corrupt as the forces it’s trying to fight, it seems there is no hope. But Krakower does offer some toward the end of the movie, and you manage to see a glimmer of hope in this dark situation.


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About Cheryl

Cheryl Cheng reviewed DVD and Blu-ray titles for Video Business magazine and has a special place in her heart for foreign and independent films.