Imagine you are a teenager who is abducted in the middle of the night and forced to become a child soldier or sex slave. Imagine trying to sleep, as your friends go missing everyday, wondering if you will be next. Now, imagine many of the people you know and love will soon die and most of the world has no idea what is happening to you…
Teenagers like Scovia and 13 others don’t have to imagine, this is their life. Having escaped their rebel abductors, these teens and their families are now living together in camps for internally displaced persons (IDP.) At the height of the Uganda insurgency, these camps were in such depraved conditions that approximately 1,000 people died each week.
Their stories of suffering and resilience have never been told…until now.
After Kony – Staging Hope is a documentary film that follows a team of actors, playwrights, and activists who uses theater to help these children explore the traumatic events they have been through. Through dramatizing their stories, the teens are able to share their voice with the community and the world.
The film captures the incredible humanity and emotion between the children and adults as they construct dramatic theater performances based on their lives. The short plays address HIV/AIDS, peace, and reconciliation. These dramas also pose the taboo question; “When an escaped child soldier returns home, are his parents able to accept him?” “Is the community ready to embrace him as well?” The result is an epic play that attracts over 1,000 people to the camp and restores a sense of peace, hope, and accomplishment to these children who have endured so much.
After Kony is an authentic feature length documentary with personal accounts, live performances, music, and dance. It shows how actors, playwrights, and children collaborate to tell a personal story of suffering and pride, war and creation. The film gives us a strong glimpse into the vulnerable moments and powerful bonds that connect all of us as humans, no matter where we live or what we have gone through.