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Wiping My Eyes

I don't cry easily in public. I may have mentioned this before. Crying by myself in public is even more difficult.

But War/Dance caused the floodgates to break open, and I found myself viciously wiping my eyes and tipping my head back on the plane, hoping no one saw. At the same time, I was glad that this film moved me. If I hadn't cried...I would have been more bothered.
Anyway. The film is a documentary, following three students in northern Uganda. They live in a displaced persons camp of 60 000, and for the first time ever, their school is able to compete in the National Music Competition. Each teen has a different & heart-wrenching story.

Rose's parents were both killed by guerrillas - she was hiding in the bush, and knows that her parents gave their life for hers. They lied to the rebels, saying they had no children. She later identified her mother's head as it was pulled out of a cooking pot. She is quiet and withdrawn, and treated like a servant in her aunt's home.

Nancy's father was macheted to death in front of her mother, who was then forced to bury the pieces. Later, she was taken by the rebels and Nancy was left to care for her three younger siblings. Nancy's mother came back some weeks later, and in the film they visit her father's grave for the first time in four years.

Dominic was kidnapped along with his brother. He spent two weeks as a child soldier before escaping, but he says it felt like two years. He has never before told anyone what happened while with the rebels. He has the opportunity to ask a captured rebel if he has seen Dominic's brother. He also asks why they take children when they know it is bad.

For each child, music is a place of beauty, escape and healing. The opportunity to compete with their school music group in this prestigious competition is a source of great joy. I don't want to give the details away, but I found this film incredibly hopeful, despite the deep tragedy it's seated in. It gave me hope that things can be good in the midst of great pain, and that while "we" do need have more compassion and do what we can for "them," there is no place for pity or arrogance.

(check out the YouTube trailer here.)


Laura J said…
I will definitely rent this because it would be stupdiculous not to! I love the quote from your brother in law to be. It made me laugh heartily.

I miss you already.
Beth said…
it would indeed be stupidiculous. tell me what you think!

and you should read the other quote i just posted from lalo...i laughed so hard.

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