In the film War Dance It follows the life of three schoolchildren who live in northern Uganda in a refugee village (Paton refugee camp). The reason why they live in a refugee camps is the results of the rebels who are kidnapping children to become child soldiers and sex slaves. They enter a national music competition to show the rest of Africa that they have a voice even though the conflicts in northern Uganda have burdened their lives.
Although the violence contain in Uganda these three children named Dominic, Rose, and Nancy attend Paton primary school to let music enrich their live to help them cope with the grim reality they live in. Dominic age 14 one of the three children has been a victim like many other children to the rebels’ brutality. His brother was taken from him and Dominic never saw him again. He is one of three thousand School children who get abducted every year to become a child soldier. Dominic has been forced to do horrible things for the rebels but manages to escape rebel captivity.
He and his younger siblings are now displaced at Paton refugee camp. He attends the Paton remarry school to learn, but his greatest joy is playing the xylophone he hopes that one day he will become a musician that plays around the world. Blizzard 2 It’s not like what happened to Dominic was an isolated incident; Dominic is one of thirty thousand boys from the School tribe who are turned into child soldiers. The main problem the rebels or known as the Lord’s Resistance Army are a group of radical extremist who have religious motives to justify their mass killings.
The L. R. A. Claims that they are fighting for the people of School but that is not true for more than 2 million people in northern Uganda eve been displaced most of which are from the School tribe(and about 90% of the children are also displaced into refugee camps). Many of the School people stand in food lines; the government closes down the Paton primary school one day of each month to feed sixty thousand people. The other child I mentioned was a girl named Nancy. She was from a beautiful village named Kiting.
The land was full of life and her people use to rely on farming. One day Nanny’s mom and dad went on an early morning to farm, but hours pass and only her mother returns in tears saying that her father has been ordered by the rebels, but the worst part is that the rebels returned to Nanny’s house and defiled her mother. Nancy and her siblings thought they would never see their mother again, but two months later they found her at the refugee camp. This is without question the crimes against humanity the L. R. A. Reform every day to instill fear in their own people. The last of the children I mentioned before was Rose the youngest of the three at only 13 years old. Similar to Nancy story at night when the rebels usually attack they took her mother and father and ask them if they had children-protecting their hillier they told the rebels they did not have any. A few days later Rose went to her village to find out her parents were dead. Now she resides in the Refugee displacement camp, and lives with her aunt. Rose’s aunt treats her like Blizzard 3 a house servant.
Me personally I think part of the reason Rose’s aunt is so negative towards her is because she still wants to attend school, and have a better life while her aunt sees that as her niece being better than her because she is still holding on to her dreams of leaving Paton. I’ve noticed that the ids in the film hold school values stronger than the kids who go to school in America. The reason being is that countries with very little know that the only way they can change their current situation is by striving for a good education.
If people in the United States would hold education values more seriously, maybe we would be ranked in the top ten most educated countries. There are many children in the same situation, but what keeps them going on is music. To cope with reality the children of Paton Uganda play music. Every year there is a festival in the capital city of Uganda, Kampala. These intentions allow different regions of Uganda to compete in the hopes of making it to the National championship. Jolly Coot a music instructor and Janis Coot a musician are sent to the refugee camp to help the children practice for the National music and dance festival.
Jolly makes a note that the children need this music to feel like kids again because they can’t go to a normal life. This may be true, but the kids all have large ambitions to prove to Uganda that they are still here and are going to give it all to win the dance and music competitions. Jolly and her husband Janis at this point are being ere critical on how they should perform and what areas they need to do well to impress the judges; for instance, like the western chorus, the Instrumental, and finally the traditional dance. Later on they will go to the capital city of Uganda which is Kampala to perform.
Blizzard 4 Looking at the scenery of the Refugee camp really says a lot about the conditions the School people live. The straw huts were actually makeshift homes that were only supposed to be temporary for a few families, but as the conflicts between the L *R. A. And the Uganda peoples Defense Force (U. P. D. F. ) continued many more people went to the refugee zones and mad thousands of more straw huts. The way the national government reacts is like a laissez fairer way of doing things: let things take their own course and not intervene.
Although peace talks around 2010 have been mentioned in the news this 24 year Old conflict runs to deep in this nation. My sociology teacher Dry. Grey use to say this quote all the time to me “first seek understanding… Before you can be understood. ” What this quote means is that before being ignorant about something gain some perspective of what there around you are going through so you can understand their pain or grievances, so that you will understand that you are not the only one having problems.
This quote my teacher would repeat after every lecture sunk in to me and it applies to the same case of Dominic speaking to the rebel. Dominic went through a horrible experience as a child where he was forced to commit murder; however, he knows that if you have to survive you do what your armed captives tell you to do. Back to the main point Dominic spoke to an actual rebel sergeant to confirm his older brother’s death. The rebel said one hint that was important “They told us to kill any bicycle TA xi drivers in 2002… If I didn’t follow orders I would be killed. This speaks volumes because even though the rebels are committing all these atrocities you have to remember that they are human like you and me some of them do this for power and greed some of them do it to survive. Blizzard 5 Now the children of the Paton primary school are ready for competitions each child packs up all their instruments, dancing garments, and load them onto a truck for the music, choir, and dance competition. When they arrive to he National theater of Uganda many of the other schools hold low expectations for them.
They believe they are just people who are from the bush, and they believe that they are all rebels. This makes the children from Paton Primary School feel inferior to the competition. Like here in America if you are from a notable school with high prestige you get all the respect, but if you’re an urban kid going to an inner city public school people judge, hold very low expectations you. After the first few days of nonstop competing the children from northern Uganda have exceeded everyone’s expectations on owe they would fair in these competitions.
The only competitions that the judges criticize the most are the chorus, music, and dance segments. The children get a few hours away from the competition. The children go to the beach for the first time and their eyes light up like Christmas lights. For the first time the kids feel sand on their feet. That scene from the film really spoke to me because one of my passions as a child in New York and the Dominican Republic was going to the beaches every day, and playing in the sand. This scene shows that the kids from Paton actually got to be kids gain even though they have difficult pasts.
Later on the day they return to the National Theater in Kampala to resume competitions. As they finish dancing they are later at the award ceremony. Paton primary school won the traditional dance and Dominic won a personal xylophone for best musician. In the end believe Blizzard 6 that the children from Paton primary have gained there confidence, and pride of being an School. In conclusion, the children from Paton primary school are very resilient. Although many tragedies have happened in their lives the children had a strong community and music to help them heal notionally.