In New York City, at the Tribeca film festival this week (and next) are two documentaries outlining the lives of two former child soldiers.
The first, ‘War Child’, describes the story of Emmanuel Jal , a former child soldier from the Sudan who willingly served as a child soldier in an act of revenge against the massacre of his village when he was around 8 years old. He is now a rap star living in London.
From this article Emmanuel is quoted as saying:
I left home at age of 7. … One year later, I had an AK-47.
I believe I survived for a reason, to tell my story, to touch lives.
Despite being suicidal at times from the memories of his time as a child soldier, he has worked to tell his story around the world through his music and by spreading his message to anyone who will listen.
The second film is called ‘Kassim The Dream’ and covers the life of Kassim Ouma, a child soldier from Uganda who was also coincidentally a child soldier from the age of 8. Unlike Emmanuel, Kassim was forcibly captured and made to serve as a child soldier for a rebel group.
Kassim escaped to the United States and began working as a boxer, achieving world champion in junior middleweight status.
For more information, check out tribecafilmfestival.org.