Message of peace from a ‘War Child’
April 16, 2009 · Updated 4:35 PM
Alexis Saloutos brought the film “War Child” to Bainbridge because she believes it’s a place that focuses closely on local concerns while keeping an eye on the world.
“I think that Bainbridge is a very strong community,” she said. “And seeing someone who has gone through such a horrific experience and really come through an unbelievable childhood through war and poverty, and has gotten to a place of being able to inspire other people, leaves a community like Bainbridge really feeling and knowing that they can make a difference. That as individuals, we can have a long-lasting impact here and across the globe.”
“War Child” tells the story of Emmanuel Jal, a former Sudanese child soldier who went on to become a successful rap artist.
Jal’s music pounds hard on his personal history and on the devastating impact of war. He also parlayed his passion into Gua Africa, a U.K.-based nonprofit that works with families and communities in Kenya and Sudan to help them overcome the effects of poverty and war, largely through education.
Saloutos, a Bainbridge native who now lives and works in Seattle, first learned of Jal when she caught a screening of the anti-slavery rockumentary “Call and Response.” From there, she began to familiarize herself with Jal’s music and Gua Africa.
Months later, not only has she arranged a benefit screening of “War Child” this evening at Grace Episcopal Church; she also arranged for the head of Gua USA to attend the screening. Her hope is that others will share her response, and be called to action.
“After listening to his music, there’s something that’s just left with you,” Saloutos said. “You can’t turn away from it after being exposed. It’s so exposed, and raw and cutting, but it’s also very hopeful and very powerful.”
“War Child” plays at 7 p.m. Friday at Grace Episcopal Church. See www.warchildmovie.com.