By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
The filming of a new movie based on the true story of a Catholic nun who rescued more than 100 kidnapped schoolchildren from a rebel army in Uganda is being planned for early next year.
The Catholic News Agency is reporting that Caspian Pictures, founded by Brian Bullock and Will Raee, will begin shooting Girl Soldier in South Africa early in 2010. Based on the fictionalized account of the story “Stolen Angels,” by Ottawa Kathy Cook, it will star Uma Thurman as the heroic nun, Sister Caroline.
The true story occurred in 1996 when armed rebels from the notoriously cruel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) kidnapped 139 young girls from St. Mary’s College in Aboke to turn them into soldiers and sex slaves. Sr. Caroline, who was born Rachele Fassera in Italy, tracked down the rebels and fought for the release of the girls. She managed to rescue 109 of them.
Rescuing captured youth in Africa became the mission of Sr. Caroline who was assisted by the children’s parents, the government, the United Nations and the Vatican.
The film’s director, Will Raee (CSI, Criss Angel:Mindfreak) said actress Uma Thurman became interested in the role after hearing the story and becoming “very upset” by the crimes committed against these young women.
He told the Ottawa Citizen: “She got very emotional and she grabbed me by the wrist and said, ‘Will, this is a film that has to be made. You have all my support and my resources and I really want to help you to do this.’ She was very passionate about it.”
Thurman has spoken out about exploited children, saying in a published report “It’s beyond me that in this day and age, the exploitation of child soldiers goes virtually unnoticed and unchecked by western media.”
Unfortunately, the violence of the LRA continues to the present day. In the weeks after Christmas 2008, LRA troops massacred 900 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They sacked and destroyed entire villages and killed entire families.
Pre-production and filming are expected to take up to five months.
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