The documentary “War/Dance” opened in theaters yesterday. It won for best direction at the Sundance Film Festival, and I caught it last month at the New Hampshire Film Festival.
“War/Dance” follows the children, with particular focus on 3, that live in the Patongo refugee camp of civil-war torn Northern Uganda as they practice and compete in a national dance competiton, giving them moments of hope and excitement after experiencing the atrocities of war. Amidst scenes of practicing for the competition, these children recall these atrocities – and they are gut-wrenching. Nightime abductions by the Lord’s Resistance Army, boys turned into soldiers, girls sexually abused, witnessing the murder of their parents and family members, lost siblings, fear and nightmares. The latter part of the film shows the joy and excitement of these kids as they compete – a pageantry of dance so beautiful, you almost don’t even care if they win. They have won – at least for the time being.
Here’s the trailer.