In the Invisible Children Documentary by videographer Jason, the horrific issue of child slavery in Uganda is shed with light as this man and his team uncover the harsh realities that these African families have been forced to deal with for years. At the beginning of the documentary, Jason spends a short amount of time introducing himself and his son, Gavin. Jason shows home videos of his wife in labor and his baby boy arriving in the world. These images give a more personal feel to the documentary and allow the viewer to relate themselves to the film on a more personal and endearing level. Although the overview of Jason’s family evokes your feelings of empathy and love, you are not yet aware of what the documentary will actually be about. The relevance of his family life is not associated with the topic of the film until we are introduced to Jacob, Jason’s friend from Uganda. Jacob grew up in Africa and suffered a tragic childhood as he was taken from his family and village at such a young age; it wasn’t until 2011 when he first met Jason and shared with him his life story.
Joseph Kony, the leader of the LRA Rebel Group, is not introduced until almost 9 minutes into the 30-minute film. Kony is portrayed as an evil and violent dictator who has formed an army of child slaves turned rebels. We are told of the heinous acts which Kony and his goons have committed including kidnapping children from their families, forcing girls into sex slavery, and turning the boys into child soldiers as he trains them to shoot, kill, and kidnap others. For 26 years, Kony has been evading the authorities and claiming more and more lives- approximately 30,000 children in total have been abducted by the LRA Rebels. Children are shown with mutilated faces, being snatched from their beds in the dead of the night by rebels, carrying machine guns, as dead bodies are shown piled up on the floor. These visuals evoke certain emotions that motivate individuals to turn their awareness into action and stop the LRA Rebel Group. Uganda is portrayed as a dangerous and lawless land where children are not safe sleeping inside their own homes, let alone strolling the streets by themselves, a luxury we have in America.
The United States Government is hesitant to involve themselves in the matter as our personal financial security and financial interests are not directly at risk. Jason created this documentary with a very strong emotional appeal in order to captivate the viewers and give them a sense of responsibility. In other words, Jason wanted to communicate the urgency of the matter by depicting the topic in such a visual and emotional manner making it too hard for us to ignore. After sharing the video through the use of “small world” social media such as Twitter and Facebook, Jason created a following of over 700,000 people on his weblog, Invisible Children. The immense following was generated through the concept of word of mouth marketing, in which individuals spread information through discussions with one another. After enough people had backed his project, Jason and his team took the offices of congress to advocate for the Invisible Children and, ultimately, to stop Joseph Kony.