War DanceSet in war-raved Northern Uganda, the award-winning WAR DANCE will touch your heart with a real-life story about a group of children whose love of music brings joy, excitement and hope back into their poverty-stricken lives. Three children who have suffered horrific brutalities momentarily forget their struggles as they participate in music, song and dance at their school. Invited to compete in a prestigious music festival in their nation’s capitol, their historic journey is a stirring tale about the power of the human spirit to triumph against tremendous odds.


Nominated for Best Documentary at the 2008 Oscars, WAR DANCE brings about an awareness to the civil war in Uganda which has raged on now for over 20 years. Few people know what this war is all about or the effects it's having on the population.

WAR DANCE focuses on three children within the Patongo refugee camp of northern Uganda, who have each lost at least one parent, sibling or family member to the horrors of the war. The children have been forced to live in this government protected camp just to meet their basic survival needs. And although their future appears dark and depressing, the children find healing and escape through the music of their native land, despite being surrounded by fear.

There's an interesting juxiposition in the story as it unfolds the terrors these three children have lived through, while at the same time showing the hope and excitement they feel as the little school at the Patongo refugee camp prepares for the finals at the annual Kampala Music Festival. Dominic, a boy forced into being a child soldier for the rebels, is determined to be the best xylophone player in all Uganda. There's a gripping scene between Dominic, whose desperately trying to locate his lost brother, and a rebel leader who tells Dominic much of what he already suspected. Young Nancy, a singer in the group, brings the hopes and dreams of her father, who was hacked to death by machetes, to the music competition. And Rose, who is obviously in a deep state of depression, finds great joy as she dances and performs.

This documentary is exceptional. It's well put together and the cinematography is breathtaking. The scenes where the children are placed in front of the camera to explain what they've been through are quite moving. I rented this film on DVD and watched it once by myself, then a second time with my family. Despite the intesity of the story-line, I felt it appropriate enough to allow my eight-year-old son to view ... although I took considerable time throughout the film, explaining to him what was going on and why.

The awareness WAR DANCE brings regarding the civil war situation in northern Uganda, as well as the enthnomusicological theme and beautiful cinematography, makes this film a must see. I highly recommend it!