Home > Africa, Uncategorized, World Issues > Making Us Notice

Making Us Notice

Invisible Children Movie PosterLast night, as I sat in my typical Sunday funk about returning to work today, my husband had me watch some random documentary that he got online. In this case, it was the independently made and not well-known Invisible Children – made by three young typical American guys that went to Africa to discover the world.

At first, I was a bit repulsed by their attitude. One even commented that he wanted to “you know, get some meaningful change in my life.” The unspoken agreement there was that going to Africa and being exposed to extreme poverty would do this for them. Maybe they were right My husband being African, I automatically became defensive.

Until I got a little further into the film, and realized that its important to be this honest when making a film for an American audience – which this obviously was. You can’t pretend the things that go on in Southern Sudan and Uganda are normal to your everyday existence, because, ultimately, they are not a part of your donor’s everyday existence either.

The film takes them to Sudan where they are trying to “Discover” the origins of Darfur’s raging conflict. Really, all they find is the fact that security and travel is so restrictive, that there isn’t much to do. They meet a woman that suggests they visit Northern Uganda, where many Sudanese are fleeing.

Their path ultimately leads to the story of these Invisible Children – young kids that sleep in the bus depot and the hospital at night to escape murder, beatings, and abduction by the rebel army. They meet a kid named Jacob and his friends, who sleep where rain water pours in, but it gives them some sense of privacy away from the other kids.

Still camera shots capture the mass entry and exit of these children over a typical night, and the effect is monumental. Bodies upon Bodies are piled one on top of the other, sleeping, trying to dream away their nightmares.

The movie is another shock documentary, in the end instructing people to do something and raise awareness. I am hoping this blog post does a little bit of that.

But like most things, it got me thinking about my own desire to work in the field. Would I be okay with this type of reality? I would like to think that I have an open mind, and that I can try. I would also like to think that my honesty and ability to convey a message is also important and effective.

The movie inspired me not because it was particularly original in its’ take – and sadly, not even in its content. It was, however, a few young people’s attempt at capturing their truth and sharing it with the world.

This is, for me, always the most important thing.

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  1. Ed
    November 2, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    This movie was shown at DePauw University in Greencastle, IN. My roommate at the time started a studen organization around it to raise money for the children. Very moving and very cool that people are acting on it!

    -ed

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