This film has gone viral on the internet in the last 48 hours – now seen (as I write) by over 10 million on youtube plus millions more on other forums. At the current rate it will be seen by tens, perhaps hundreds of millions in the weeks ahead.
The subject of the film is Joseph Kony, a Ugandan warlord who leads a rebel army originally in Uganda and now spread into neighbouring countries. Kony is by all accounts a ruthless criminal. Among his actions are the abduction of children, forcing them into his service as armed ‘child soliders’ and worse.
The film comes from US based activitists Invisible Children. The IC team first encountered the story nearly 10 years ago, and released the original Invisible Children film a couple of years later. Since that time they’ve been on the dual mission of on the ground action in Africa, and raising awareness and support in the US are the rest of the world.
Before you watch the film you should know that Invisible Children have their critics. Here’s a good summary of those who suggest thinking carefully about the issues, and the approach of IC and their Kony 2012 project.
Nevertheless, the film is powerful and it raises questions about issues many of us in Australia would rather not have to think about. The solutions are not simple, nor immediately obvious. Invisible Children do raise the question, and the importance of this issue for those whose lives are damaged or lost.
It’s worth 30 minutes of your time to watch the film and think about your response.