By Mitch Holt, Staff Writer
A documentary about a Ugandan tragedy will hit campus Feb. 12-15.
Invisible Children is the documentary brainchild of three young Californians who set out to film a trip to Africa but discovered a larger issue along the way. During their travels, the three young adults uncovered children being kidnapped by a rebel group called the Lord’s Resistance Army and forced to fight as child soldiers.
This discovery instantly changed the nature of their film, according to the IC Web site.
Dan McVey, professor and Africa missions coordinator, first saw the film about a year ago.
“The film is a very accurate portrayal of the existing problems in northern Uganda and southern Sudan,” McVey said. “It also evokes strong emotions because it deals with children; I’ve seen how true the whole scenario is.”
McVey spent 22 years as a missionary to northern Africa, mostly in Ghana, but he said he witnessed similar situations in his travels to Uganda. He said although he has already seen the film, he is looking forward to the expanded version.
The documentary reveals the horrors of this previously untold story – the horror of the kidnapped children becoming desensitized to fighting and, in turn, eventually become vicious fighters themselves, according to the Web site.
Other children escape and hide in fear for their lives. These children, as young as 8 years old, face a lose-lose situation because they are either kidnapped and forced to fight or dodge the guerilla fighters and live in poverty and fear.
Representatives for the cause will visit Abilene as part of a nationwide effort to spread this film to universities and churches all across the country. During February, March and April, volunteers for the cause will travel all over the country in RVs to conduct screenings of an updated and expanded version of Invisible Children.
During the visit to Abilene, several events about the issue will take place:
- Feb. 12, the Invisible Children visitors and anyone interested will meet at Highland Church of Christ at 6 p.m. for an evening of facts, discussion and a screening of the film.
- Feb. 13, the film will be shown in an assembly at Hardin-Simmons University.
- Feb. 14, the Invisible Children-themed ACU Chapel assembly and an evening forum that will feature a screening of the film is open to the public in Cullen Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.
- Feb. 15, an art show composed of 15 pieces inspired by the events in Uganda is being put together.
Kelly Shearon, active Abilene participant and planner of the IC representatives’ visit, said this project has the potential to open many eyes.
“These screenings provide ACU students with an opportunity to become more aware of things taking place outside of Abilene,” Shearon said. “Passion stems from what we know; the more we learn, the more we become inspired to do something.”
McVey said the film is an educational window into another part of the world and realities that people in other parts of the world face every day.
“We need to realize what life is like for a lot of people,” he said. “There are things that can be done; we need to get engaged and help stop this problem.”