Saturday, March 31, 2012

Rock On... Kony 2012

The main issue I have in watching Kony2012 is that Joseph Kony's actions have gone on for far too long to adequately condense in a 30 minute film without A) generalizing very complex issues and B) making the film more about the director's campaign than about what Kony has done.

For instance, in regards to point A, Russell refers to Kony's army as the LRA. What Russell doesn't say is that the LRA stands for the Lord's Resistance Army, a Christian fundamentalist group led by Kony to establish a theocracy and rule under the Ten Commandments. Russell completely leaves the religious aspect out of Kony's regime, and that concerns me because, while I don't condone Kony's actions with or without God's help, Kony believes he is doing the Lord's work. Whether one is religious or not, it's easy to excuse someone's behavior if they say it's all a part of God's will or whoever they believe in because it's something we can't fully judge without walking a mile in their shoes. Perhaps that is why Kony has gone under the radar for so long.

As for point B, thirty minutes is simply not enough time to fully understand who Joseph Kony is from an objective standpoint. This works to Russell's favor because not only can he cherry-pick what he wants his audience to see, but in how he wants to present these images. Kony2012 is not fully about Joseph Kony, as seen in the home movies of Russell, his son, and in other shots urging people to make Kony famous. In fact, as the film progresses, the fight to take down Kony becomes more of a social outpouring about awareness of who is Kony rather than what he's done. "Make him famous" is the mantra I recall. And if there's one thing to be said about making an impact, you can only talk for so long before action is demanded. Russell has done a lot of talking, and he's banking on millions of people making Kony famous. But unless they've research Kony's atrocities fairly well, all this film will be is an over-exploited attempt that's had it's thirty minutes of fame in March 2012 before dying out with all the other emotionally-charged causes urging to take a stand or else.

Picture of Kony 2012 poster courtesy of

1 comment:

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