April 5th, 2012
11:03 AM ET

Kony sequel is out and firing back at critics

A famously viral and controversial video that turned an African warlord into a household name in February now has a sequel.

On Thursday morning, the San Diego-based organization Invisible Children released "Beyond Famous." Coming in at 19 minutes about 10 minutes less than the group's first video  the sequel addresses media criticism of the first "Kony 2012" video, which caught fire on Twitter and was reportedly viewed on YouTube 100 million times. It also explains what politicians in Washington and in Africa have done in the past month since the original "Kony 2012" video.

The second video continues to advocate for the capture of Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army. Formed in the 1980s, the LRA is a sectarian military and religious group that operates in Uganda and South Sudan. As its leader, Kony recruited child soldiers and committed numerous atrocities include raping and maiming civilians, experts say. Kony is at large.

Ben Keesey, Invisible Children's executive director, told CNN the makers of the first video said they wanted to explain the plight of children affected by the LRA. The video hung its narrative on 30-something American filmmaker Jason Russell, his friendship with a young Ugandan boy who had escaped from the LRA, and Russell's young son, Gavin.

At one point in that video, Russell tells his son on camera that there are bad guys like Kony in the world. The child reacts as any child would – incredibly scared. Russell, who recently had a public meltdown, is not part of the sequel.

Critics blasted the video as overly simplistic.

"We made the first video intentionally for a young Western audience, and therefore it was a priority that the video keep their attention," Keesey told CNN on Thursday. "This (new) video goes deeper. I think people will respond."

The sequel opens with soundbites from critics of the first video. The voices of various pundits and media personalities say "simplified" a couple of times. Mid-sentence soundbites from journalists, several of them on CNN, round out the beginning of the video.

Keesey narrates, explaining the creation of the campaign, its progress and ongoing efforts to stop the LRA. Part two essentially rehashes what was in the first video, but Keesey notes that officials from the United States to Africa have spoken recently about their desire to stop Kony or have signed measures aimed at stopping him. He adds that the African Union recently announced plans to deploy 5,000 troops to hunt down Kony.

The United Nations, meanwhile, said in late March that attacks by Kony's army are increasing.

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Filed under: Africa • World
soundoff (127 Responses)
  1. Keegan Nunley

    I think Africa is just going to move on and away from the West. It cost them there very world image when they get our help. They don't want just charity anymore, they want respect and investment, and they are getting that from Asia right now. To make a long story short, Americans are stupid and short sighted when it comes to knowing about Africa. And to the Kony 2012 crew, Get your @#&kin hands off! YOU ARE NOT HELPING At ALL!

    April 5, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tencent Joshi

      Keegan, you know Africans' main beef are with the former European colonial powers, right?

      April 5, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @tencent: that reminds me of a bit. not africans, per se, but the same thing.

      meeting of the people's front of judea. the question – what have the romans ever done for us? hilariously, the different members called out things the romans had done for them.

      highlights:

      'oh, yeah, the sanitation reg. remember what the city used to be like?'

      'and the wine. yeah, yeah that's something we'd really miss if the romans left'

      'they certainly know how to keep order. let's face it. they're the only ones who could in place like this.'

      'all right. but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the romans ever done for us?'

      'brought peace.'

      'oh, peace? SHUT UP!'

      April 6, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Ah, living the "Life of Brian"...lol...

      April 6, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Northern2014

    Kony 2012. Ahahah. They can't even take criticism and have to disable ratings and comments on their invisible children youtube videos.
    My money is staying in my pocket, at least i know what it will be spent on.

    April 5, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Syd

    Grat British show explaining and reprsenting critics concerns. I can't believe IC is still around after all of lies and claims to stealing charity money!

    April 5, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Horror-chan

      Interesting link. Thanks for sharing this. I'll be posting this else where.

      April 5, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. livelyletters

    Didn't IC claim they had videos prepared before the KONY 2012 that were meant to follow up the situation? Lie number 1, 302.....they made this film after critrics confronted their lies. That is why Jason isn't in it. I have never seen this many lies from one organization!!!

    April 5, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. heroicslugtest

    Never heard of it.

    Doesn't really sound too interesting.

    April 6, 2012 at 12:32 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Bribarian

    obvious propaganda is obvious

    April 6, 2012 at 3:50 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Tonee_Rhian_Rose

    Critics should just STFU. All they're doing is showing what low-lifes they really are by trying to stop this movement cause they don't care that these ppl are suffering. If you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem.

    April 6, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • CW

      Are you really a part of the solution or is this just some lame internet activism that will accomplish nothing?

      April 6, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Lizzy

      They do1 That is why they are confronting IC on their lies! Do you not realize how wrong it is to use old footage to build an emotional ad campaign? Do your research. Africans, esp Ugandans, not affiliated with IC are furious with this campaign! We do care. I question how much IC supporters care, though. I would hope they cared enough to research. Critics have always cared by following the events and that is why we are aware of IC's false information and misleading campaign. That is why we are joining supporting Ugandans requests to let them rebuild since the issue was RESOLVED. We care enough to say a man like Musevini should not be supported because he too used child soldiers. Do IC supporters care enough to realize they need to listen to nationals?

      April 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tonee_Rhian_Rose

      Not all Ugandans feel that way, & it isn't just a Ugandan problem anymore. This affects Congo, Central Africa, & Southern Sudan.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  8. CW

    This is Africa's problem not ours. How convenient to take the focus off the Obama administration and place it on an individual that even his native country doesn't care about.

    April 6, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Justin

    We should just leave Africa alone, if the citizens there really want change, they'll rise up and change things.

    April 19, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse | Reply
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