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War/Dance

Children at war
By GERALD PEARY  |  November 28, 2007
2.5 2.5 Stars
inside_wardance
REALITY WAR: A contest frames the bigger issue: children at war.

Like countless reality TV shows and other current-day documentaries, this film from Sean Fine and Andrea Nix is organized conveniently, and conventionally, around a contest — the National Music Competition in Kampala, at which 5000 Ugandan children appear yearly for a kind of Olympics in eight musical categories: Western choral, instrumental, traditional dance, etc. War/Dance focuses on one underdog team, Acholi tribespeople from an impoverished refugee camp in Northern Uganda. Their music is winning, but the contest seems incredibly trivial next to the traumatic war stories of the children, whose siblings have been kidnapped and their parents brutally murdered by the marauding, Acholi-hating Lord’s Resistance Army. And the most amazing scene is far away from singing and dancing. An orphan boy sits with a captured rebel commandant and asks him why his men make a business of stealing children. "It’s like a family,” the soldier explains. “The more children, the more powerful we are.” 105 minutes | Kendall Square
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