Monday, November 06, 2006

This past Saturday we showed Daniel's film, "Drawings and War" at Calvin. We weren't sure about who would come, but the Bytwerk Theatre was packed! The event started with a bit of background from Daniel about the history of the war in Northern Uganda. Then he showed the film (it's about 30 min), and Dr. Chris Smit led a discussion afterwards. Via a video conference call, everyone got to talk with Grace Akallo (pictured above w/ Daniel) who just finished lobbying in DC a couple weeks ago. The event ended with some yucca and computers available for anyone to send a form letter to their senators and reps to encourage the peace talks.

What amazed me about this event was how powerful the film was in a theatre and the reactions it invoked. I mean, I've seen it lots of times on a computer screen and on our little TV, and it's powerful, but on the big screen the stories and images are riveting. And no one left after the film. Instead we stayed and discussed reactions and asked questions. It was SO encouraging and inspiring to hear people begin to think through where to begin addressing the issue of child soldiers in a country that is destroyed by war while the leaders are benefitting financially from the same war.

Heavy stuff for a Saturday night... or any time. But these kinds of discussions and reactions bring a lot of hope because they are why Daniel and other people make activism films - to get people thinking and questioning.

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