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The inspirational TRUE STORY about Sam Childers and the civil conflict in Sudan, “Machine Gun Preach

The inspirational TRUE STORY about Sam Childers and the civil conflict in Sudan, “Machine Gun Preacher”, Due out Nov 2, 2011

Executive producer of “Machine Gun Preacher”, Louise Rosner, is brave, fearless, pretty, and personable. She traveled to Sudan and Uganda back in January of 2010 for pre-production research and scouting, and stated that, “Going to Sudan was especially intimidating. The director, Marc Forster (“The Kite Runner”), the screenwriter, Jason Keller, and I, had to take out very expensive insurance against kidnapping and dismemberment. The government recommends that you don’t even go there, however, it was important for Marc to travel to Sudan. He is unable to tell a story without actually having seen the place and the people.” Louise, Jason and Marc stopped briefly at Sam Childers’ home in Kampala, Uganda and headed north into Sudan by car. They drove for more than 11 hours on some of the world’s worst roads and arrived at an orphanage in 125-degree heat. “There were children who had bullet wounds, and some who had lost their limbs. There was an eight year old girl walking around with her baby sister on her hip. They had lost their parents. It was a constant barrage of pain and suffering, but at the same time you saw great joy in the faces of these people and it makes you realize what an incredible thing Sam Childers has done,” explains Rosner. When asked if the film was shot in Sudan, Louise taught me that “shooting in Sudan was impossible, yet the filmmakers were insistent on shooting, “Machine Gun Preacher’, in Africa. It is quintessentially an African story. South Africa has a large infrastructure of cast, crew, equipment, and everything you would need to make a movie. We scouted all over the country to find somewhere that looked like Sudan, which is very brushy, incredibly hot and dry. It took us to an area north of Johannesburg.” When asked if shooting in Detroit, MI, for the US scenes depicting Pennsylvania was any easier, Louise exclaimed, “We had a tornado, flash flood warning, and a heat advisory all over the course of 45 minutes. We had to stop shooting, find shelter for 400 people and wait for the tornado to pass us by.”
WHAT IS “MACHINE GUN PREACHER”?: An inspirational true story about Sam Childers, by Relativity Media, directed by Marc Forster (“The Kite Runner”), starring Gerald Butler as Sam, Michelle Monaghan as his wife, Lynn Childers, and Kathy Baker.
WHO IS SAM CHILDERS?: Sam Childers, is an EX-biker and gang member, who reinvented himself and transformed his life from a no good troublemaker, living a life of violence, crime and addiction, to a do gooder helping repair homes in East Africa that were destroyed by the civil war. He first visited Sudan in 1998, and when he saw the atrocities which occurred on a daily basis and the displaced children of Sudan, he built an orphanage in the middle of territory run by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Sam continues to save as many children as he possibly can from the war torn area where wars are born out of poverty, and religious and ethnic conflict. He shared, “When I went into Sudan on my first trip, I saw the body of a very small child who had been blown up by a land mine. Right then and there I knew I would do whatever it took to help these children. I didn’t realize it was going to change my entire life. I didn’t realize that I was going to have to walk away from everything I knew, but that is what happened.”
“The LRA was formed in 1987 and is a notorious guerilla and militant group, led by Joseph Kony, that combines different traditional African and Christian beliefs. Kony, who proclaims himself the “spokesperson” of God and a spirit medium, primarily of the Holy Spirit, which the group believes can represent itself in many manifestations, kidnaps young children and forces them to commit atrocities. The group operates in northern Uganda, Southern Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Central Africa.
The group is based on a number of different beliefs including local religious rituals, mysticism, traditional religion, Christianity, and claims to be establishing a theocratic state based on the Ten Commandments and local Acholi tradition. The LRA is accused of widespread human rights violations, including murder, abduction, mutilation, and sexual enslavement of women and children by forcing children to participate in the hostilities.”’s_Resistance_Army

Article by Sharon Abella


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