Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars (Docurama)

Video and DVD


2005, Unrated
Civil war in Sierra Leone forces thousands into refugee camps in the Republic of Guinea. A small band of musicians formed in one of the camps with the goal of using music as a means of de-traumatization, both for themselves and their brothers and sisters in the camps, stranded from their homeland. Filmmakers Zach Niles and Banker White introduce viewers to Reuben Koroma (the de facto leader of the band), Franco Langba, Efuah Grace, Mohammed Bangura, Arahim Kamara and Alhadji "Black Nature" Karama as they begin a tour of refugee camps and eventually return to Sierra Leone, first to inspect the land after peace has been achieved and then later to resettle — with music rather than guns — to start a new positive revolution. The horrible atrocities these men and women have experienced stand in stark contrast to their joyous spirits and willingness to support one another and keep hope alive for their country to become a land of peace and love once again. DVD extra features include a short film of the band's inaugural trip to the U.S. and more music, which mixes sadness with powerfully moving beats and rhythms. (tt stern-enzi) Grade: A-

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