FOR A REBEL
A FILM BY MAARTJE WEGDAM &
"Intimate story exposing a large scale issue
...for anyone looking to understand how difficult reconciliation can be"
- De Correspondent
"Unique tale of innocence lost"
- Justice Hub
Sixteen years after rebels abducted him as a child, Opono Opondo returns home to Uganda as an adult war commander. Now he has to readapt to civil society.
Opono grew up to become a war commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army of Joseph Kony. Sixteen years after his abduction by the rebels, Opono must fight for acceptance back home, in a place where he doesn’t know the codes and conventions and where the neighbors fear him. The film shows Opono’s fight for his future, while struggling to come to terms with his past and to reconcile with his family.
While Opono pursues a new career as a carpenter - he opens a shop and designs business cards – he attempts to reconnect with the people closest to him: his brother, his uncle and his best friend who used to be in the LRA with him. A daytrip to visit his mom painfully exposes how the scars of war also continue to divide them.
One day Opono’s former comrade, LRA top commander Dominic Ongwen, is captured and taken to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Ongwen is charged with seventy counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Questions of accountability start to dominate Opono’s thoughts. Suddenly he gets an opportunity. Opono makes an important decision to save his future.
The Netherlands 2017
Lenght: 76 min
Spoken language: Acholi, English
Subtitles: English, Dutch
Please check regularly for newly listed screenings or contact us if you would like to organise a screening yourself.
27 januari 2019- Dit Raakt Mij, Apeldoorn
26-31 March 2017 – Movies that Matter Festival (The Hague, The Netherlands), World Premiere,
21 September 2017 - Netherlands Film Festival (Utrecht, The Netherlands)
1-31 October 2017 - Movies that Matter On Tour, (The Netherlands)
8 October 2017 – Justice Film Festival (New York City, USA), International Premiere
**Winner Best Feature Film**
16 October 2017 - SMHAFF / Document (Glasgow, UK)
2 November 2017 - Free Press Unlimited (The Hague, The Netherlands)
**Report of the year Award 2017**
5 November - High Falls Film Festival (Rochester, NY, USA)
2 December 2017 - This Human World (Vienna, Austria)
**Winner Best Film Up & Coming Competition**
27-30 December 2017 - Ethiopia International Film Festival (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
3 March 2018 18.00 with Q&A - Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival (Thessaloniki, Greece)
4 March 2018 12.45 with Q&A - Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival (Thessaloniki, Greece)
10 March 2018 21.00 - Global Cinema Film Festival (Boston MA, USA)
20-22 April 2018 - Storydoc Festival Tripolis (Pelopponese, Greece)
19, 24 April 2018 - Mooov Film Festival Brugge (Belgium)
25 April 2018 - Mooov Film Festival Turnhout (Belgium)
May 2018 - Africa World Film Festival (Barbados/Nigeria/South Africa)
June 2018 - Realtime Film Festival, Lagos (Nigeria)
20 June 2017 – Lab111 (Amsterdam)
5 July 2017 – Heerenstraat Theater (Wageningen)
14 September 2017 – Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (NIOD) & Spui25
19 September 2017 – UGlobe, Utrecht Centre for Global Challenges (University Utrecht)
2 October 2017 – Louis Hartlooper Complex (Utrecht )
2 October 2017 – LUX (Nijmegen )
8 October 2017 – Filmhuis Den Haag (Den Haag)
9 October 2017 – Kijkhuis Leiden (Leiden)
9 October 2017 – De Lieve Vrouw (Amersfoort)
9 October 2017 – Lumière (Maastricht)
10 October 2017 – Filmhuis Alkmaar (Alkmaar)
10 October 2017 – Cinema Middelburg (Middelburg)
10 October 2017 – Cinecitta (Tilburg)
10 October 2017 – Filmtheater Hilversum (Hilversum)
10 October 2017 – Vera Zienema (Groningen)
10 October 2017 – Gigant (Apeldoorn)
11 October 2017 – Kriterion (Amsterdam)
12 October 2017 – Lumen (Delft)
18 October 2017 – Plaza Futura (Eindhoven)
25 October 2017 – Focus (Arnhem)
8 November - De Balie (Amsterdam)
9 - 15 November - De Balie (Amsterdam)
9 - 15 November - Cinecitta (Tilburg)
10, 12, 14 November - Filmtheater Fraterhuis (Zwolle)
10 November - Lantaren Venster (Rotterdam)
11 November - Filmhuis De Keizer (Deventer)
12 November - Filmhuis Alkmaar
12, 14 November - Lantaren Venster (Rotterdam)
12, 14 November - Filmtheater Hilversum (Hilversum)
13 November - de Lieve Vrouw (Amersfoort)
14 November - 't Hoogt (Utrecht) i.s.m. SIB
15 November - Chassé (Breda)
15 November - Filmhuis De Keizer (Deventer)
15 November - Groninger Forum (Groningen)
19 November - 't Hoogt (Utrecht)
22, 29 November - Lux (Nijmegen)
10, 15, 16 December 2017 - Filmhuis Gouda (Gouda)
9 January 2018 - 20.00u Filmhuis Dieren (Dieren)
9 Ferbruary 2018 - Ons Middelbaar Onderwijs, Meesterlijke Ontmoeting (Breda)
12 February 2018 - closed screening with Child Soldier International and Berwin Leighton Paisner (London)
16 February 2018 - Cinecentrum31 (Heerhugowaard)
22 February 2018 - 5 PM Oxford University, St Joseph Hotung Auditorium (Oxford, UK)
24 April 2018 - Closed screening inside prison of Chania (Crete)
26 April 2018 - Film Club Naxos, The Castle of Naxos (Greece)
7 May 2018 - ANESIS Cinema, Agrinio (Greece)
31 May 2018 Closed Screening Nuenen
Summer 2018 (tbd) - Closed screening inside prison of Volos (Greece)
5 September 2018 – MA Conflictstudies & Human Rights, University Utrecht
18 October 2018 – Universiteit van Humanistiek, Utrecht
19 October 2018 - Social Justice Film Festival, University of Warwick, United Kingdom
In a conflict we prefer to draw a line between victims and perpetrators so we can hold those who are responsible accountable. The reality however is often much more complex. This film, about a young man who balances the fine line between victim and perpetrator, explores what it is to be a survivor in such a reality.
Peace doesn’t come with the silencing of the guns or a peace agreement. It needs the rehabilitation of the victims of the war, among them those who fought. While recovering from a 20-year long war between the Government of Uganda and Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army, Northern Uganda now suffers from a hidden crisis. LRA rebels who manage to escape and return home lack access to education and job prospects. Pervasive trauma and stigma hinder them in their family lives, many remain excluded from public life. With the government shifting to economic development, socio-economic and psychosocial support for returnees has drastically declined. This prevents them from participating and contributing to social and economic development. Local experts confirm that these former fighters are increasingly vulnerable to future mobilization by political or armed groups. Through a very personal account, the documentary No Place for a Rebel addresses the universal human need for a sense of belonging and the possible consequences for those who lack a place that they can truly call 'home’.
A story of homecoming
We all know stories of child soldiers, but what happens when they grow up and return home? Making a film about (former) child soldiers is to walk into a world of cliches, as they are often reduced to stereotypical presentations of passive victims, as brave survivors lucky to get a second chance, or as ruthless war machines wired to kill on command. This does not reflect their complex identities and as such does not help us grasp what it means to survive systemic violence or understand how to support them in their reintegration process. The story of former rebels does not end with their return home. This unprecedented film explores a whole new chapter: their present-day reality. No Place for a Rebel centers the uncomfortable quietness of the present rather than the past turmoil and violence. The film trusts on personal reflection and depth of the character to reveal the socio-political context he finds himself in. That makes for a strong character based film that questions the nature of human existence. No Place for a Rebel is an intimate account, a journey into Opono’s world. Yet above all, the film shows the courageous attempt of a human being to re-shape his fate.
This film comes at a moment when for the first time a former child soldier is being prosecuted at the International Criminal Court. He faces charges for the same crimes of which he is a victim. The trial poses difficult dilemmas regarding the prosecution of (grown up) child soldiers. Questions that apply to many other young people who grew up fighting in armed conflicts worldwide, for instance in Colombia, Afghanistan and Syria. Through this film we ask the question how we, as individuals, as a society and as the international community, can equip ourselves to acknowledge, act upon and do justice to the complex reality of victim-perpetrators.
You can download the electronic press kit (EPK) here.
For press inquiries please get in touch.
No Place for a Rebel in the media:
Articles and Reviews
NRC Film Review - 7 November 2017 - Ook kindsoldaten worden groot
NRC - 2 November 2017 - Zambiaanse verslaggever ‘moedigste’ journalist van 2017 Free Press Awards
Eye on Film - October 2017- No Place for a Rebel
Brabants Dagblad - October 2017 - Maartje en Ariadne volgen kindsoldaat met camera
Justice Hub - May 2017 (English) - Victim, perpetrator, … pariah?
De Correspondent - March 2017 - Je bent 26 en komt thuis, na 16 jaar vechten in de jungle. En dan?
OneWorld - March 2017 - Een half leven als kindsoldaat. En hoe dan verder?
Filmtotaal - March 2017 - No Place for a Rebel in wereldpremiere op Movies that Matter 2017
In de Bioscoop - March 2017 - Movies That Matter Festival, deel 3
Netherlands Film Festival - September 2015 - Gezocht: crowdfunding
Radio and Television
RTL Live - March 2017 - Movies that Matter Festival vraagt aandacht voor mensenrechten
De NieuwsBV - March 2017 - Ex-kindsoldaat mag niet meer thuiskomen
BNR News Radio - 22 March 2017
Den Haag FM - 24 March 2017
Tijd voor Max - 10 November 2017
ABOUT THE DIRECTORS
Maartje Wegdam (director/cinematographer) started working as director and cameraperson for documentaries after graduating from the Documentary Media Studies graduate program at The New School in 2011. Maartje previously studied Communication and International Relations at the University of Amsterdam (MSc) and worked as a journalist for Dutch broadcasting corporations.
Ariadne Asimakopoulos (director/sound) has a background in Conflict Studies and Human Rights (MA). In 2010 she conducted research in northern Uganda on reintegration and justice in the case of people like Opono, who are both victim and perpetrators of violence. This research laid the foundation for No Place for a Rebel. Besides her work as a filmmaker, she works as a consultant and trainer in the field of youth, peace and conflict transformation.
Written, produced and directed by
Ariadne Asimakopoulos & Maartje Wegdam
Cinematography: Maartje Wegdam
Editor: Merel Notten
Location Sound: Ariadne Asimakopoulos
Associate Producers: Oloya Victor, Babette Wielenga
Sound Design: Power Sound Studio – Paul Pouwer, Joris Wolff
Additional Sound Editing: Madoc van Zalk
Colorist: Petro van Leeuwen
Post-Production Coordinator: Copper Views film productions - Ilja Kok, Anjet Blinde
Original Music Score: Merel Notten
Musicians: Timothy Brandsen - Double Bass & Strings, Sam van Ommen - Guitar
Murk Jiskoot - Percussion & Mallets
Music and Sound Mixing & Matering: Power Sound Studio – Paul Pouwer
Finishing & Online: Loods, Lux & Lumen - Ruud de Bruyn
Interpreters: Oloya Victor, Okello Ronald, Ivan Ongena, Ocheng Richard, Evelyn Akullo Otwili
Additional Camera: Kilara Tony Bazilo Meyers
Artwork: Susanne Keilhack
Subtitles: Einion Media
Trailer: Merel Notten, Bert Nijman
Webdesign: Anjet Blinde
Consultants: Petra Lataster-Czich, Peter Lataster