Skip to main content

Ugandan Dominic Ongwen is the first former child soldier ever to be indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes. When he was nine years old, his parents were murdered and he was tortured, brainwashed, and forced to join the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Chief counsel on his case is Krispus Ayena, a top-notch lawyer and former parliamentarian who had four brothers of his own fall victim to the LRA. Theatre of War follows Ayena as he prepares Ongwen’s defence and asks murky, irreconcilable questions about international law, colonialism and perspective. The burning bush is a potent recurring motif throughout, containing both religious and agrarian meanings, while symbolizing the conflict as well as slippery oppositions of victim/perpetrator, innocence/guilt, right/wrong. How does a community recover from sustained trauma, reintegrate returning child soldiers, and assign culpability? What gives the ICC jurisdiction or the cultural context to pass judgment on Ugandans whose culture demands restorative not punitive justice, and whose Christian religion promises divine not earthly judgment? Angie Driscoll


  • Director(s)

    • Lukasz Konopa
    • Emil Langballe
  • Producer(s)

    • Helle Faber
    • Heidi Kim Andersen
  • Editor(s)

    • Rasmus Stensgaard Madsen
  • Cinematography

    • Kacper Czubak
  • Composer

    • Markus Aust
  • Sound

    • Kasper Janus Rasmussen
    • Patrick Svaneberg Vejen
  • Visit the film's website

Promotional Partners

Special Presentations sponsored by

Ad - Check Out the Hot Docs Collection, Stream Now, Crave

Get the latest from Hot Docs

Sign up for e-news and keep up to date with the latest from Hot Docs and Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.
  • Advance notices about upcoming films
  • The latest on festival dates and tickets
  • Customize your preferences
  • Unsubscribe at any time
Sign up