The Lord's Resistance Army has been a curse on the history of Uganda. It began when Joseph Kony, an Acholi insurgent and a self-appointed healer, launched his rebel movement against the powers that be in the capital. To swell its ranks, the LRA kidnapped children – over 60,000 in 25 years – and turned them into warriors. Today the LRA is still rampant but has lost influence and Joseph Kony is Africa's most wanted man. Behind him he has left a generation of young adults ripped from their childhoods and now turned into social rejects.
Wrong Elements: half-executioners, half-victims – the social rejects of Uganda
Jonathan Littell is an accomplished writer. In his reports and novels, he takes his readers on journeys into places where not all is milk and honey. After Georgia, Sudan, Syria and many other destinations, he sets out this time for Uganda, leaving his journals to one side and trying his hand at a documentary with Wrong Elements, presented as a Special Screening, and a contender for the Caméra d’Or.
Half-executioners, half-victims, they now face with the task of putting their lives back together again. Littell set out to meet Geofrey, Nighty and Mike, kidnapped when they were just 12 or 13, conscripted, turned into criminals and then abandoned. The writer turned director sets out to explore the crisis and the questions it raises.
"These responses benefit fully from what sound and image can produce: not just words, which are bound to be limited, but gestures, intonations, hesitations and looks"
From crime and guilt to rootlessness Wrong Elements explores the inner conflicts of soldiers conscripted against their will. Running through the work are insights into the questions that haunt the children of the Nazi, Stalinist and Maoist regimes. He also anticipates the preoccupations which will come to hover over the generations growing up under Islamic State.