You really should see this movie – War Dance. It was nominated in 2008 for best documentary feature. It was moving, gripping, sorrowful, informing, revealing, and difficult. War Dance features children from the Acholi tribe in northern Uganda. The children and any surviving family members are living as refugees on account of rebel attacks in their villages. Their school qualifies for a musical competition in Kampala and the filmakers document their efforts to represent their school and their tribe at this national event. The kids are amazing. The kids are resilient. The kids dream and hope, although they’ve suffered such losses. Their stories are heartwrenching.
The movie isn’t perfect; the images are riveting, but there is some favoring of images over what I imagine are awful and difficult living conditions. Sometimes directors and producers go for the zing and the flash instead of grinding out the dusty and grim day in and day out of children and families living in broken environments. I found myself wondering how a film can make pain and longing look romantic (or a better word might be noble).
Still, this is the kind of movie that might elude your “gotta see it” radar. And, it’s likely that the political and social realities of Uganda aren’t high on your radar, either. Yeah, rent it.
*I love movies – suggest one to me!*