Berlinale: Programme


Film file

Panorama

Lost Children

Verlorene Kinder

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LOST CHILDREN

A portrait of four children from northern Uganda between the ages of eight and fifteen who were abducted by militiamen from the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), who forced them to become child soldiers and go back and kill in their own villages. After having managed to escape their abductors, the task now is to try and reunite these children with their families. This film
follows their attempts to go back to being children again in a society in which they have been ostracised as murderers. The film was made in Pajule, a reception camp run by the charity Caritas that assists child soldiers on the run.
One of the girls at the camp is fifteen-year-old Jennifer who spent five years as an LRA captive. She is beset by horrific nightmares and sustained many gunshot wounds during the conflict with government troops. She is supported by a social worker, Grace, who is 25. During the course of the last twenty-four months Grace has been responsible for some 800 children. All but twenty percent of these children have killed.
Thirteen-year-old Kilama was able to escape the LRA twelve months after his capture, only to discover that both his parents had been murdered. He is haunted by the memory of a small boy who watched as Kilama stabbed the boy’s mother to death.
Eight-year-old Opio has many injuries sustained from torture. The rebels threatened Opio’s mother that they would kill her entire family if one of her abducted children were to come back to her. She consequently fears not only for Opio’s life, but also for the lives of her other children.
Twelve-year-old Francis remembers how he was forced to watch as other children executed two boys with machetes. Afterwards, it was abundantly clear to all of them that the same fate awaited anyone who dared to contradict.

Germany 2004, 97 min

by

Ali Samadi Ahadi, Oliver Stoltz

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