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Dominic Ongwen is the first former child soldier prosecuted by the International Criminal Court (ICC). Theatre of Violence follows Ongwen’s lawyer and his team as they investigate, build a defence strategy, and try to answer the central question: how do we define “justice” when the perpetrator is also a victim? 


Ugandan lawyer Krispus Ayena has been assigned to the most prominent case of his career: defending the first former child soldier to be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court (ICC). Dominic Ongwen was only 9 years old when he was abducted on his way to school, as were an estimated more than 20,000 other children, by Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Intimidated and indoctrinated, he quickly learned to kill or be killed. Theatre of Violence follows Ayena and his team as they prepare for Ongwen’s defence - asking vital questions in an unfolding debate on what accountability entails when someone is both victim and perpetrator; and grappling with the underlying issue of what justice looks like when being conducted in an international court, far away from key cultural and historical context. The film asks - is the ICC imposing a new form of colonialism on Uganda? 


“Visually, it’s beautiful. The issues are presented in a very nuanced way which is rare for Western-made productions about the LRA war and the conflict in Uganda - centering Acholi voices, juxtaposing Ongwen’s trial with what is happening in Uganda today, and posing important questions about the relevance of the ICC.” 
- Oryem Nyeko, Uganda and Tanzania Researcher, Human Rights Watch 


Lukasz Konopa (he/him)


Lukasz Konopa studied sociology in Poland before he did a MA in documentary filmmaking at the National Film and Television School in the UK. His films have been screened at numerous festivals, such as Hot Docs, Camerimage, True/False and SXSW. After was awarded Best Documentary by CILECT. In 2014 he was selected as a Berlinale Talent

Emil Langballe (he/him)


Emil Langballe studied documentary filmmaking at the British National Film and Television School. His graduation film Beach Boy was screened at numerous film festivals around the world and was awarded at festivals such as Karlovy Vary, Thessaloniki and Toronto’s Hot Docs. His film The Wait premiered at IDFA in 2016.

Helle Faber (she/her)


Helle Faber is the founder of the award winning Danish production company made in copenhagen. Since 2010 the company has been one of the leading Danish documentary companies specializing on International feature documentaries. Among them are Enemies of Happiness (Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winner 2007 a.o), Putin’s Kiss (Sundance Award winner 2012 a.o.), Motley’s Law (Viewfinder Award, DOCNYC 2015 a.o.), Warriors From The North (Winner at Hotdocs 2015 a.o.), The Stranger 2017, (Viewfinder Award, DOCNYC 2017 a.o.), The Chocolate War (2022) Theatre of Violence (2023).