The Invisible Children roadies and UVa’s Invisible Children branch got together this past Wednesday for the screening of “Tony” – a documentary in which Tony, a Ugandan native, reveals what its like to grow up amidst one of the most violent yet least publicized wars in recent history, and how he overcame, and continues to overcome, the hardship in his home country of Uganda.
The film follows the development of Tony, recalling everything from his grim moments during childhood to his new initiatives for positive change in Uganda – the most notable being the Child Soldier Rehabilitation Center built to help the children captured by the corrupt Ugandan regime. Also apparent is the near constant terror in Tony’s life – the death of his mother as well as his mentor and close friend give a glimpse into the gravity of Uganda’s current situation.
Riveting yet authentic, this film is arguably the best yet from the Invisible Children organization – a must see for anyone interested in human rights and global issues. The film also includes an outstanding soundtrack and very impressive cinematography. Once through its screening tour, it will most likely be released to the general public through Invisible Children.
Also headlining the event was the a special guest and speaker, native Ugandan Francis Onekalit. Abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army – the militant group that has been terrorizing Uganda for 25 years – Francis was fortunate enough to escape with a friend before they were killed. He now helps with high school students and is a mentor with Invisible Children.
If you haven’t heard of it, Invisible Children is a movement meant to raise awareness and spur change toward the horrific problems that have been facing northern Uganda since 1986. As its name denotes, these issues have been largely unpublicized, therefore leaving the many child soldiers and other victims “invisible” to the eyes of the world.
Just recently, Invisible Children has expanded their area of focus from northern Uganda to a large majority of Central Africa – concentrating particularly heavy on the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Sudan. Their new film “Tony” is an integral part of that new campaign, stemming from where it left off during last year’s tour.
For those of you who missed the screening and would like to learn more, Invisible Children has uploaded the trailer of “Tony” which can be seen here. UVa’s Invisible Children branch will also be having a bake off on April 3rd to further benefit the cause – keep a look out for flyers or stop by their lawn tables on Wednesday or Thursday. For general information about Invisible Children or to find out how you can help visit Invisible Children’s website or go here for info on joining UVa’s local branch.