“This is not the end of our story…”

Recently watched the poignant War Dance from Thinkfilm. At times amusing, at times devastating, and uplifting and wondrous throughout, the film documents the young people of the Acholi in northern Uganda as they prepare for a national tribal dance competition in Kampala. The Acholi were removed from their ancestral lands and forced to live in a cramped “safe area” set up by the government. Rebels against the government over the years have killed many of their family members in horrific ways (one girl, Rose, spoke about having to identify her parent’s bodies by their severed heads pulled out of a boiling pot- probably the most graphic description of war and its effect on innocent victims as I have ever heard). Throughout all these horrors, the tribe “still has their music,” and the entire village looks forward to the small school of Patongo to represent them in the “big city.” The title of this blog entry comes from a speech by the school’s musical director:

“We have lost mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, many relatives- and all of us bear the scars of war. But this is not the end of our story…”

How cool is that? The film was produced in partnership with Shineglobal, a “film production company dedicated to ending the abuse and exploitation of children worldwide through the production of documentary films and other media that raise social awareness and effect political change.”

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