Come on, be honest, when you heard the title of this film, I bet you thought "made by Primula (great cheese for kids but ain't saying nothing if you're hoping to satisfy adults with it), however I have to say that I would like to inform those who do not know me that I do not judge things by their cover but, Machine Gun Preacher? Even I had to mentally take in the name and fight against the feeling of being prejudicial against the film.
Yes, I knew it was based on a true story about, ok; let me tell you a story.....
Once upon a time there was a biker who likes Harley Davison Bikes, drugs that require no prescription and women who liked to "par-tay!" here's a bit more about Brother Sam below.......
In the summer of 1992, Childers experienced what he described as a revival during a conversation at an Assembly of God church. Childers has claimed that was also the same evening that his pastor prophesied that he would go to Africa. At the end of 1998, Childers made his first trip to Sudan. 
In that first trip and the many that followed, he was exposed to the acts of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) which he described as atrocious. Over 30,000 children have been abducted by Joseph Kony and the LRA in the region. 
Relief organizations report as many as 50,000 children have been abducted and 1.7 million people have been displaced. The abducted children are generally forced to be child soldiers or sex slaves until they escape, are rescued or killed. Thousands of children have become orphans as a result of brutal LRA attacks on remote villages in Southern Sudan and Northern Uganda. 
Not long after his first trip to Sudan, Childers and his wife Lynn founded the Angels of East Africa, the Children's Village in Southern Sudan. The Children’s Village currently houses and educates over 300 orphans, with over a thousand children rescued since its inception. The staff at the Children's Village are primarily Sudanese orphans and widows themselves. This is currently the largest orphanage in Southern Sudan and is unique in its approach of leading armed rescue missions directly into LRA territory. 
Childers details the events of his life and his experiences in Africa in his book Another Man's War. In November 2009, Childers appeared on Debra Peppers' television show Outreach Connection in Quincy, Illinois. He revealed that he also rescues children abducted in northern Uganda, in Africa. 
Now let me confess something to you. There are several people I would like to meet and interview and included on this list is this man. Why? Because he is a true humanitarian and seems to really care about the suffering of children from Sudan. Another person is Annika Rogell, the producer of "Black Power Mixtape" (which I reviewed as best I could a few months ago) which I think is a very important historical film "that the youth’s need to see".
Anyway, the film shows most of what you've read above but according to Sam the film held back a bit on the violence that he experienced. A few facts about the film. The actor playing Sam is Gerald Butler (or as the Americans call him "Gerry" because they have a problem saying his full name!!!) The estimated cost of this film was $30m and it took $45k in its first weekend and a combined $130k over 4 weeks in the USA. Takings were not helped by the film only being released in four cinemas which makes it seem like the distributors wanted this film to fail in the USA. 
I’m going to give you two opinions then you must choose which one you are influenced by. 

Opinion 1 (my own):

The first hour of this film, I was comfortable, drinking water, chilling with my bro's and just thinking that the film was nice, however boss lady Steph Hernandez had exaggerated the reality of how moving this film was to her. 
The final 30mins was a different mood and I was praying "please GOD, don't make the lights come on in the cinema now because I've run out of tissues and my nose is beginning to run with a mucus coloured sticky fluid flowing like Niagara!

Opinion 2 (my film buddy): 

He (Sam Childers) could have chosen a worthier cause to get behind (and my retort to him was that "Fate very rarely calls you at the time of your choosing”. Transformers 2). 
Go and get it on DVD now, and order your big box of tissues too!
ZeN Journalist
Twitter: @gmanzen 
"what's the 411?"
Soon there was 
you know it makes sense........

Article by @gmanzen / 5th August 2012


Leave a comment

REVIEW: Machine Gun Preacher