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In a desperate attempt to return home, an abducted child soldier risks his life to flee from Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) deep in central Africa after years of being forced to fight. When capture appears imminent, he encounters a stranger who must decide whether to help him – risking his own life, and the respect of his community.
“They Came at Night” was produced and shot on location in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo where the LRA is still active through a unique collaboration between filmmakers and local and international non-profit organizations. The film was shot exclusively with first-time-actors, who were personally affected by the war during a short production schedule.
MOBILE CINEMA SCREENINGS: This film is currently being toured across three countries in central Africa by local organizations in conjunction with an in-depth facilitated workshop to prepare communities to peacefully receive LRA escapees who return home. This film is being used as a catalyst for forgiveness.

About the Lord’s Resistance Army

The LRA has led a campaign of terror for over 25 years throughout four countries in central Africa. Tens of thousands of children have been abducted and forced to fight for the notorious rebel leader Joseph Kony, wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. Once abducted, indoctrinated and taught to kill, young LRA soldiers become trapped in a convoluted world filled with witchcraft, superstition and fear. With no stated political agenda and no public face, the LRA survives by pillaging Zande communities and then disappearing into the dense bush, moving across enormous geographical areas to evade capture. The international community is working to end this conflict through encouraging current combatants to peacefully surrender and there are LRA combatants who risk their lives to escape, and what happens to them once they do will determine if the end of the longest running war in Africa is possible. This film is for them. Escaping from the LRA is still possible.

About the film

“They Came at Night” was shot in Dungu, northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo in Zande, the local language. The film was shot exclusively with first-time actors affected by the war during a short 11-day production schedule after the film team had to switch production locations from South Sudan to DRC after government delays threatened to halt the project all together. This film is the result of a long-term collaboration with those living in the middle of war, and created for those living in war. We had a diverse production team of Congolese and Americans, running the shoot in four languages. Special thanks to all of the actors, their families and the community of Dungu for their collaboration and partnership on this project.

Executive Producer: Invisible Children and DTJ

Created by: Lindsay Branham

Director: Andrew Ellis, Co-Director: Alex Mallis, Producer: Lindsay Branham, Cinematography: Andrew Ellis, Editor: Alex Mallis, Art Director: Gabriela Arp Associate Producer: Joseph Vungula and Margaux Fitoussi Written by: Michael Koehler, Story by: Lindsay Branham, Andrew Ellis, Ernest Sugule

To read more about why Mobile Cinema is an effective behavior change tool in Africa, read this interview with Ernest Sugule, Founder of SAIPED.

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