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. JX

    he better run while he still can!

    Either way if they catch him or not it wont affect me, except for I may have to sit through another 30-minute video about him.

    April 5, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • politicallyinsurrect

      If catching a child-abusing monster won't affect you, then you are inhuman.

      April 5, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      Maw....He'll miss the Jerry Springer show!

      April 5, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • RL

      No one is making you sit through any of the videos. You choose to watch them or not. Hitler didn't affect anyone here, until he did. Not saying this man will get that far but you never know. Stop them when they are small and prevent as much damage as possible.

      April 5, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      to politicallyinsurrect
      Then why aren't you out campaigning against the UK military, the US military, NATO and just about every other military force in the world? How about the US Senate? How about Rick Santorum supplying boys for the senators and friends?

      April 5, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jose

    Pony 2012.

    April 5, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. chrissy

    Once again, I have deposited a large duece directly into my Depends diaper.

    April 5, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Nickolaus

    Another dose of war propaganda for the masses. Better get my soma prescription refilled.

    April 5, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Paul

      EXACTLY. Another pretext to invade Africa in the name of "liberating the children" when the Ugandan military is responsible for MILLIONS of deaths. So they go after this guy who hasn't been seen or heard from in over 5 years and is some minor little thug in a small corner of the country.

      April 5, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • CW

      You nailed it. These people are free to go capture Kony any day of the week. I guess it is easier to be a slacktivist.

      April 6, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  5. OldMo

    Step 1: Make sure Kony is alive. Step 2: Make sure he's been seen in Uganda the last last 5-6 yrs. Step 3: Make propaganda movie to get all the liberal "trendies" behind getting your armed forces into a place with precious metals and newly discovered oil. Oops, I mean. . .it's for the kids!

    Wake up and don't be so easily manipulated folks. There'll be a "Kony" in every place they want to grubby little meathooks.

    April 5, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Brad76

    Why is this such a big deal? Send a few snipers over there and hunt him down. We don't need to conquer Africa because of one tyrant living in a jungle somewhere.

    April 5, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. ramicio

    Save all the little African kids by starting another war (for a person who's most likely dead). These trendies yuppies just need more rare earth metals to keep building their Toyota Prii.

    April 5, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. sighingman

    so to respond to allegations that the first film was more about promoting 'Invisible Children' than anything going on in East Africa, they make a film about 'Invisible Children'. Genius

    April 5, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. jesse89

    I don't see how publicizing a monster in our world is bad thing. The purpose of the video was to publicize the situation because the makers believed if people knew they would not allow it. That has been achieved to a large degree. What was wrong with that? I completely under the situation is complicated, but the solution was aimed to be simple – if we know, we wont let it happen. We will save and help others. I just dont see the problem. Seems like a good thing. One argument is, "well there are monsters all over the place, so why care?" So because we have so many bad people in our world, we should ignore and allow them to exist? No, of course not. Start somewhere.

    April 5, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • CW

      You might want to look up the video where one of the founders brags about being able to blow $900k in donations on himself. If you really cared about stopping Kony, these would be the last people you would enlist in the fight. Keep patting yourself on the back though.....

      April 6, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  10. @Bettina

    The KONY creator is wanting to get some attention and try to get into Hollywood the back door way, instead of becoming a movie star and taking on causes, this vain, manic-depressive and larger-than-life ego histrionic is trying to do it in reverse. His credibility went down after his arrest from a streaking incident in San Diego and then some of his cronies were swagging vodka and bragging about the money they brought in. Just as Kate Gosselin was delusional in thinking she would get top billing like Angelina Jolie this KONY creator is just as pathetic thinking he will become the next Brad Pitt.

    April 5, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Scot

    Why are the rightwingers always slaming people who want to help this world from these type of people. Are there good christian wires crossed so much that they can not realize that from these "hot" spots com the Bin Ladens of the world.
    Or is it anything that smacks of liberalism that get sto them. I cannot figue it out but I can see from the states that continuse to elect these hardliners into office how well the poor are treated in their states and hwo the "churches" continue to pander to their flock to incourage these "christain" politicians !

    April 5, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • blade75

      I only -slam- people that think this is important now...

      But it wasn't important when Kony started up, it's been what decades?

      Why is what he doing so special now? Oh maybe election year?

      April 5, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • CW

      Have you even investigated the corruption in the IC group? How nice to get rich off a tragedy.

      April 6, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  12. blade75

    Ummm who cares...

    The world has let this man peddle his wares and do his deeds for years.

    No one cares... except the people around him and those people seem to be incapable of taking him out.

    God sake Metal gear solid 2 touch on child soldier in 2001 , what ya didn't think that existed? Been kid soldier since civilization began.

    And you see the world...no one cares. You want to destablize the man with your story being liked on facebook? How bout you walk in front of a 18 wheeler and put you hand up in front of you in a "stop" gesture....bout the same.

    April 5, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Saboth

    Now, when you say the makers of the first film are firing back at critics, I have to ask: are their pants pulled up or around their ankles?

    April 5, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. anon

    Pssh, this is silly. They got called out by the Ugandan government as spreading rumor at best and deliberately spreading falsehoods at best. Ugandan natives living in the US even came out and stated this is a crock. No one cares anymore. Dancing naked on the street after facing massive criticism and being exposed for having used bots to rack up YouTube view numbers (against the Terms of Service I might add) no one is going to take you seriously any more. This is over, kaput. The US is going to have to find another way to get American's to support some level of military action in the Uganda region to kick the Chinese out. That's what this is all about, getting China out of Africa. Don't believe me? Ok, do some research and see what the Chinese were doing in each of the Arab Spring nations. Look at the coverage by media and the global outcry about humanitarianism in those countries, then look at the countries you don't here covered in the media, like Yemen, Bahrain, Qtar. Why do you think those government were / are aloud to use military to crush those uprisings? Could it be that the US has military interests there? Like the 5th Fleet in Bahrain, a huge drone air base in Qtar? Who knows, maybe I'm a conspiracy nut for wondering why the only countries in the Arab Spring were supporting interests the were pro China and those that crackdowns were allowed were US interests. Total coincidence I suppose.

    April 5, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. daveinla

    I thought this Kony 2012 guy was running around naked high on meth?

    April 5, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • CB

      I guess you thought wrong.

      April 6, 2012 at 3:41 am | Report abuse |
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