Emmanuel Jal: War Child
“Left home at the age of seven, one year later I’m carryin’ an AK-47.” His electrifying music crackles with both pain and hope. For hip hop artist Emmanuel Jal, a former child soldier in Sudan’s brutal civil war, these lyrics are hardly empty posturing. They are the bitter reality of a young man who was forged in the crucible of one of the world’s most cruel wars, “voices on my brain of friends that were slain…” A visiting film crew discovered the eloquent and self possessed 7 year old refugee. The grim reality was beatings and brainwashing, fighting, living off vultures to avoid starvation and acting like animals themselves. Jal rose from ruthless child soldier to refugee to rap star where he finds his own redemption and life mission through a message of peace that represents one of the 21st centuries' most inspiring and hopeful journeys. An extraordinary and beautifully crafted film.