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Life 6 Series
The Dilemma Of The White Ant

Dominic Ongwen is both a victim and alleged perpetrator of LRA war crimes. Should he face an international court?

A printer-friendly version of this page 26 minutes
SDH Captioned>>

Directed by Caroline Pare
Produced by Television Trust for the Environment
Editor: Barbara Zosel
Series Editor: Steve Bradshaw
Series Consultant: Jenny Richards
Produced with support from: The European Commission, OXFAM-Novib, UN Population Fund (UNFPA), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), The World Bank, Decade of Roma Inclusion, Open Society Institute

"A significant and powerful documentary that examines perspectives on the peace versus justice Uganda." Dr. Jeremy Sarkin, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law, Hofstra University Law School
In northern Uganda, Esther Acan's husband and five year old child were hacked to death by LRA rebels and she was forced to kill her infant. She wants justice - at least punishment for the one who commanded the rebels. But the rest of the village who suffered similar atrocities say revenge will not solve their problems. It is better, they say, to forgive the perpetrators and let them come in from the bush in order to gain peace.

But Esther still wants justice, and she has high level support. The International Criminal Court has issued a warrant for Dominic Ongwen, the commander of the rebels who killed her husband and baby. He is to be tried for crimes against humanity. But he was also a victim of a crime, himself abducted by the LRA at the age of 10 and forced to fight for them.

Traditional justice has always allowed murderers to return to the community having compensated, shown remorse and appeased the spirits. Ugandan law accepted this concept through the Amnesty Act, and many LRA rebels are now back in the community having paid no price for the 20 years of killings, abductions and mass displacement of the population. But Ongwen will have to go to The Hague, so he is not coming out of the wilderness.

It leaves a dilemma for justice, but also for Esther. Despite wanting to testify and bring the perpetrators to account, she is scared. The war is not over. Ongwen and the others are still at large. She fears terrible retribution if she is seen with the ICC.

The other titles in the series are:

1. Edge Of Islam - Three Muslim students face a choice between their faith and their future.

2. Castro Or Quit - Two young doctors in Venezuela have to decide whether to leave the country or stay with their patients.

3. No Country For Young Girls? - A young Indian woman has to choose - stay with a husband who doesn't want female children, or make it on her own.

4. The Unforgiven - Should General Butt Naked (née Joshua Blahyi) - now a Christian pastor - be forgiven for his role in Liberia's horrific civil war?

5. Looking For My Gypsy Roots - Hungarian film director Arpad faces a dilemma - should he track down his Roma father?

7. Three Sisters - Eritrea's women fought in the war; should they now liberate themselves from harmful traditional practices?

8. The Pied Piper Of Eyasi - The Hadza are among Africa's last hunter gatherers - should they follow charismatic Baallow into the modern world?

9. The Prince - A young Pakistani landowner chooses between trying to implement the MDGs in the village that his family owns, and a quiet life.

10. Running On Empty - Highlights the plight of two young mothers - one in South Wales and the other in Northern Ethiopia.

11. Collision Course - Reviews the positive steps being taken in India and Brazil to confront the serious public health issue presented by traffic accidents.

Grade Level: 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2008     Copyright Date: 2008
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-814-7

"The Dilemma Of The White Ant is a significant and powerful documentary that examines perspectives on the peace versus justice debate for those victimized by the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda. Through the eyes of perpetrators and victims, attempts to achieve peace and reconciliation are critically examined against the endeavors of the International Criminal Court to hold those responsible accountable for the massive human rights violations perpetrated there. It is an outstanding exposé of the tensions and key issues that exist internationally about whether achieving justice must necessarily trump achieving peace and reconciliation in conflict ridden societies."
Dr. Jeremy Sarkin, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law, Hofstra University Law School, Member, United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances

"Life 6 is a wonderfully educational series that presents the viewers with the dilemmas faced by specific individuals in the socio-historical and economic context of their communities in the midst of an increasingly globalized world. The tremendous value of this series is that, in the brief thirty minutes that each episode lasts, it captures the complexities of the lives of those in it as they face Western influence that force them to reassert, defend, or challenge their local and/or individual identities, cultures, governance, wealth distribution, and practices of achieving justice and reconciliation--to name a few...Life 6 represents these issues in an objective and analytical way that will--without question--lead into a discussion and debate about them by academics and lay audiences alike."
Aniuska Luna, African Peace and Conflict Network

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Links (The producer's web site) (Producer's resources)

African Studies
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"Designed to stimulate discussion and interest involving ethical conflict in the growing global world...Recommended for purchase for all libraries."
Gerald Notaro, University of South Florida, Educational Media Reviews Online

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