Thursday, November 4, 2010

Filmmaker documents resilience of Sierra Leone amputees on soccer team

From Global Shift. The film, "Leone Stars: A documentary" by Ngardy Conteh is a 15-minute documentary about an amputee soccer team in Sierra Leone, exploring the power of sport to create dignity and hope.

Brutalized in the civil war, these soccer playing amputees in Sierra Leone are overcoming their disabilities and inspiring a nation.

For many African nations, the 1990s was a decade of civil war. Liberia, Rwanda, both Congos, Uganda… many of these conflicts and new ones continue today.

In Sierra Leone a brutal conflict lasted from 1991 through 2000. Many of the combatants were child soldiers conscripted and armed with machine guns and machetes. Over half the population (some 2.5 million) was displaced and casualty reports range from over 50,000 to over 200,000 with thousands tortured and maimed.

The thousands of amputees who didn’t die are now, for the most part, destitute, unemployed young adults, many with little hope for the future.

Some defy the odds. A few have been doing it by playing soccer and a refugee from Sierra Leone who now lives in Canada has set out to share their stories in an inspiring documentary that is in the final hours of its fundraising campaign on Kickstarter.