CHILDREN IN WAR is the tragic story of modern warfare and terrorism as told
by the children of Bosnia, Israel, Rwanda and Northern Ireland
At the end
of the 20th Century, the targeting and killing of children in war has become another
crime against humanity. Although the Principles of Protection and the Convention
on the Rights of the Child in wartime are clearly defined by international law,
these accepted standards of decency are routinely violated by governments and
military leaders. In today's wars 90 percent of the casualties are civilians,
compared to 50 percent in World War II. In the past ten years, two million children
have been killed in wars throughout the world.
CHILDREN IN WAR is
a powerful, compassionate and disturbing report on the effects of war and terrorism
on children caught in the midst of armed conflict. Filmed on location in Bosnia,
Rwanda, Israel and Northern Ireland, this feature-length documentary explores
war-torn neighborhoods, orphanages, schools and refugee camps. Through the eyes
of children, the tragedy of war is witnessed.
CHILDREN IN WAR outlines
the history of each conflict and captures first hand the children's individual
experiences. The children struggle to heal the past through art therapy and self-expression,
but their personal traumas are the recurring themes of war and terrorism: fear
of death, threat of physical injury; destruction of homes and displacement; disintegration
of families; and the resilience of children in war.
-- In Mostar, a 12 year old boy recalls the shelling of his home and the devastating
physical injuries he suffered. At a Croatian refugee camp, a 13 year old Bosnian
girl describes how she survived the death camp of Trnopolje.
-- In the West Bank city of Hebron, teenage Israeli girls from the militant nationalist
settler's movement vow to stay forever and live among 120,000 Palestinian people.
Nearby, a 12 year old Palestinian boy tells of his surviving an Israeli settlers'
massacre at the Abraham Mosque and having his father die in his arms.
-- The civil war in Rwanda was the first genocide officially recognized by the
UN since World War II. An 11 year old Tutsi boy details how he hid in the swamp
and watched his parents being murdered. He subsequently joined the RPF army as
a child soldier. At the Gitagata Youth facility, Hutu boys, some as young as 8
years old, are accused of actively participating in the country's genocide and
must remain at the facility indefinitely.
Ireland -- Northern Irish Catholic teenager Patricia tells what it's
like to live in a city divided by 18 foot high "peace walls" that divide Protestant
and Catholic neighborhoods. Her generation has yet to know peace in their lifetime
although the recent implementation of the Good Friday Peace Accord may finally
provide an end to violence.