War Dance


War Dance

Critics Consensus

War/Dance is beautifully filmed, and effectively captures the heartbreaking and uplifting experiences of its subjects.



Total Count: 47


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,809
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War Dance Photos

Movie Info

Since the 1980s, Uganda has been in a state of civil war, with the nation's leadership violently contested by a revolutionary force known as the Lord's Resistance Army (or L.R.A.). The fighting is fiercest in the North of Uganda, and there the L.R.A. recruit many of their soldiers by abducting children from refugee camps and homes in the poverty-stricken villages, where electricity and running water are still luxuries known only to a few. However, in the village of Patongo, located deep in Uganda's war zone, a group of students (many of whom escaped from the clutches of the L.R.A.) struggles to rise above the violence and desperation that surrounds them. Each year, a student music festival is held in Kampala, Uganda's capitol city, in which children from around the country compete for prizes in performing traditional music and dance. When the students of the Patongo Primary School are invited to compete for the first time, the children are both thrilled at their opportunity and determined to prove that in a place of violence and want, creativity and talent can still take root. War Dance is a documentary about the Patongo Primary School's long journey to the Kampala Music Festival and the experiences, both good and bad, which informed them. War Dance received its world premiere at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.


News & Interviews for War Dance

Critic Reviews for War Dance

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (21) | Fresh (40) | Rotten (7)

  • It is wonderful to watch this joyous slice of the cultural lives of these victimized, traumatized children struggling to survive and build a better life in a desperately troubled part of the world.

    Mar 4, 2008 | Full Review…
  • This film offers a child's perspective on the ravages and complexity of war and is also a convincing testament to the healing power of creative expression.

    Feb 22, 2008 | Rating: 3/4
  • 'The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places,' Hemingway wrote in A Farewell to Arms. That statement might stand as the summation of this documentary, which celebrates the strength of winsome, broken children.

    Feb 22, 2008 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Because no one dares to call a film about suffering children boring, Fine and Nix slack on analysis and investigation and concentrate on gorgeous saturated cinematography

    Jan 29, 2008 | Rating: C | Full Review…
  • The horror and heartwarming [is] equally compounded.

    Dec 14, 2007 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • War/Dance is the sort of documentary that's meant to appall us, to shake us out of our uninformed complacency. And yet there are moments in the film that may make an audience uncomfortable in ways the Fines may not have intended.

    Nov 30, 2007 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for War Dance

  • Dec 24, 2012
    A wonderful healing experience for children made to grow up far too early in their lives.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 12, 2010
    Compulsory viewing on subject matter alone.
    Lesley N Super Reviewer
  • May 07, 2008
    Powerful documentary that is both upsetting and uplifting.
    Michael S Super Reviewer

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