War Dance (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes

War Dance (2007)

War Dance (2007)



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

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.
PG-13 (for some thematic material involving descriptions of war atrocities.)
Documentary , Drama , Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


News & Interviews for War Dance

Critic Reviews for War Dance

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (21)

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.

Full Review… | March 4, 2008
Top Critic

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.

February 22, 2008
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

'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.

Full Review… | February 22, 2008
Toronto Star
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | January 29, 2008
I.E. Weekly
Top Critic

The horror and heartwarming [is] equally compounded.

Full Review… | December 14, 2007
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | November 30, 2007
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for War Dance

A wonderful healing experience for children made to grow up far too early in their lives.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Emotional, tragic and yet uplifting story that shows the transitory power of music. This is a must watch film that is shot beautifully and is told from the mouths of not talking heads, but the children themselves. Also, if you ever wondered why the US must continue to offer food and funding to war torn countries, this film will definitely answer your question. I just wanted to reach through the screen and hug every one of the kids in this film. Be prepared and have Kleenex next to you just in case.

Zandra Ellis
Zandra Ellis

Compulsory viewing on subject matter alone.

Lesley N
Lesley N

Super Reviewer

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