Accessibility Links

Theatre of Violence

Documentary 1h 46m 2023

US Digital Premiere

For info about our in person screenings, please go to

Audio Described version of this film is available by purchasing this version : Audio Described Version: Theatre of Violence

Closed Captioning available in English You can select this option by clicking the ‘CC’ button in the bottom right of the player to turn on captions.

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 combines stunning cinematography with tense courtroom drama as Ayena and his team prepare for Ongwen’s defense, covering an unfolding debate on what accountability means when someone is both victim and perpetrator, and what justice looks like in an international court, far from key cultural and historical contexts. This unforgettable film asks vital questions, not least: 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

Content Advisory This film contains description of violence, murder, rape, and torture, some of which includes children.

We do not want the cost of entry to be a barrier for participation in the festival. If the price of buying a ticket to this film would prevent you from participating, please email the following address ( + you will receive an auto-reply email with a free ticket code. We have set aside a set # of tickets per film on a first come first-served basis. Once the free tickets are no longer available, the code will no longer work. For anyone that purchases a ticket, we appreciate your support. Your ticket purchase enables us to make tickets free for those who might otherwise be unable to watch. This also allows the festival to support the filmmakers for sharing their work in our festival and for the festival to cover the cost of hosting the films online.


Lukasz Konopa


Emil Langballe


Helle Faber


English, Swahili, Luo



Bonus Content

Director Lukasz Konopa: Introduction