Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Movie :: War Dance

I watched this movie on Netflix today and now my heart is broken. It tells the story of children living in a camp in Uganda during the civil war. The children tell their stories of abduction, hiding, watching their parents murdered and chopped with machetes right in front of them.

One 9 year old boy was forced to murder people and become a rebel soldier. Though he is now safe in a government protected camp he suffers great sadness remembering what he was forced to do. This is just one of the many stories told in this documentary.

The bright side is that these children are going to a school in their camp where they learn music and dance. They are preparing for a national competition. Though these children are all suffering so much and holding burdens they should not even know of, their faces light up when they play their instruments, sing, and dance. One of the teachers mentions that it is important for them to sing that it is very therapeutic. Which makes me think about how so many music and art programs are being removed from schools in the US due to a lack of funding and support for them. Clearly even while living in a camp moved from their own homes for their safety these schools recognize the importance of the arts.

The joy and spirit from the Uganda people in spite of their circumstances makes me feel ashamed for begrudging any of my struggles in life. The huge smiles of these children will stay in my mind for a long time to come.

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