Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Invisible children

The Invisible Children was a film that is incredibly moving and humbling. It truly is a shocking experience when our eyes are opened to such pain, desperation and fears in comparison to how comfortably we live. Everyday individuals wake up and go through their daily schedule, often complaining about what they have to do or how stressful and difficult their lives are. After watching this movie I was really taken back by the way these children and families in Africa are living. They have experienced rapes, murders, brutal beatings and watching family members be cut up or abducted. They sleep on cold wet floors in basements or any place else they can that is safe enough for them so that they are not abducted. Despite all of this the children have hope and the carry on living their life, playing games singing and dancing. As shocking as this may seem it only makes sense because it is all the children have ever known. The war has been going on for seventeen years, meaning the young children have never experienced life without this constant fear of being taken, hurt, or killed.
When we compare this lifestyle to our own, it is almost disgusting to think about the things people complain about. We get angry if we don’t have good food, or if our pillows aren’t soft enough or even if we feel it is difficult to live with a roommate so close. At the same time that we complain these children are living with little or no food, sleeping on concrete floors in hiding places, and sleeping in rooms with an unlimited number of other people. They practically pile into the hospitals simply to have a safe place to sleep. The mental state of all of the children has been strongly affected. Many are violent and act out, while others are scarred by the death of a family member. One child was quoted saying, “I have headaches if I don’t see blood.” The young children who are abducted are brainwashed and transformed into vicious, heartless murderers. It is unbelievable to think that children between the ages of 5 and 12 are being taken to sneak into schools and steal other children; especially because here that is the happiest age you can see a child. This is when they are carefree and don’t have to worry about the stress of a difficult life.
The movie had a very strong impact on me, I can honestly say that it was one of the most depressing things I have ever seen and I am interested in doing something to help. It opened my eyes up to a world of loss and sadness. Although the poem is not nearly as heart wrenching, Phillis Levin’s poem End of April can relate to this movie. An egg represents life, but one that has fallen may represent death or loss. “What had been there/is gone now/ and lives is my heart,” these lines lead the reader to believe that whatever was in the egg has died in the fall from the nest or has hatched and gone away. This is closely related to the young children in Africa. Like the animal that was once in the egg, they seem invisible, they disappear without anyone knowing where they are or what happened to them. It is terribly sad to think that children can just go missing and be taken like that. So many children in Africa go unseen while the youth of America are cherished and flourish. The loss demonstrated in the poem also relates to the loss of two young boys in the film. One of their brothers was killed by the rebels in Africa and it has had an incredibly strong impact on the boys. The way the animal from the shell “opens up its wings,/ tearing me apart,” is similar to the boy’s feelings about their brother.
He is gone and they know they will never have him back. There was a scene of one of the boys sobbing thinking about his brother, and you can tell that this truly is tearing him apart. The more moving part of the scene is where he says that he would rather die than live on this earth because he of how bad it is. The young boy exclaimed that he missed his brother, but he did not wish he was here, because it will be better when they meet in an afterlife.
This film also relates to the article in the Baltimore Sun, where convicts and drug addicts are given another shot to sort themselves out and carry on a regular life after serving their sentences. This shows us how important it is to give people a chance and always give them hope. It is so important that we do something to help these young children, the way Galen Sampson helped out. Something needs to be done to give these children hope and save them from becoming an empty broken shell.

No comments: