Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"Grace, Milly, Lucy...Child Soldiers"

The documentary 'Grace, Milly, Lucy...Child Soldiers' brings to light the story of girls who are kidnapped and forced to fight as soldiers in Uganda.

NPR's Neal Conan talks with Grace Akallo, a former child soldier, and the director Raymonde Provencher. Here is an excerpt:

In Uganda, a war has been raging for over 20 years, fought on one side by an army of children. The Lord's Resistance Army led by rebel chief Joseph Kony has abducted more than 30,000 children whom they torture, indoctrinate, rape and turn into killers. The Lord's Resistance Army is 80 percent children. Some 30 percent of those children are girls.

This week, a film describing their horrific experiences shows at the Silverdocs Documentary Festival in suburban Maryland. That festival runs all this week. The film is called "Grace, Milly, Lucy...Child Soldiers." One of its subjects, Grace Akallo, describes how the rebels came in the middle of the night to the convent where she went to school and divided the girls they'd captured into two groups. They freed 109 of the girls and kept 29, Grace among those left behind.

(Soundbite of movie, "Grace, Milly, Lucy...Child Soldiers")

Ms. GRACE AKALLO: And I remember thinking, I'm not going to stay here for another night. I'm not going to stay here for another day. I'm going to escape. I'm going to run away. But we're told if anyone of us tries to escape, the rest of the 29 would be killed.

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