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. Darrell

    You people trip me out with the 'US is after something!'. Only in your warped theorizing minds. They have not sent troops there to apprehend Kony. Not even close. They are training those national soldiers to do what is needed. We don't have even near enough of a presence there to do anything of the sort most of you are claiming. The support we have in place there would not get us these billions you are thinking from their oil so do your research next time. The US gave minimal support to this venture at best. Not every time our government wades into certain waters is simply for a gain. We have been trading with Uganda for over a decade...

    April 5, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • shivadass


      Not Spam.
      Wake Up.

      April 5, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. crazycow

    What about Darfur? Any movies about it yet? Oh wait ....................... no oil.... My bad ..........

    April 5, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @crazycow: and that dude is still president of sudan.. not hiding at all..

      April 5, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Daryn Moerike

    I think this Kony guy is getting a bad rap. At least he isn't running through the streets naked...

    April 5, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Larry

    I'm sorry, but I thought you never could say a black man had done anything wrong. He's obviously just misunderstood, and we need to be compassionate in our dealings with him. He's surely a product of his environment, and cannot be held accountable for his actions.

    Sounds like a bunch of hooey, don't it? Well, that's how we're supposed to treat them in the US. Why should it be different in Africa?

    April 5, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Is there a point to your post?
      For the life of me, I couldn't find one.

      April 5, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tom

    "We made the first video intentionally for a young Western audience, and therefore it was a priority that the video keep their attention,"

    Sounds like they're exploiting the naive minds of idealist suckers with this stupid propaganda. Don't give them your money, unless you actually believe the magazine salesmen that come by your house are helping poor black kids go to college.

    April 5, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. CW

    How about showing some concern for kids in Detroit, or Sanford, FL? We have enough of our own problems. Let the Africans who actually live near this guy decide what they want to do.

    April 5, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. CW

    Why is there no concern from the KONY 2012 mob on this: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/28/kony-2012-jedidiah-jenkins_n_1386251.html

    April 5, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. HUMMMMM??

    I wonder, how long would Kony last if he was doing this somewhere in Europe

    April 5, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      ratko mladic, the butcher of bosnia, who massacred 8000 bosnian muslims in 1995, hid out for a decade (icc warrant 2001), but is currently in jail.

      April 5, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      whoops, my bad. the warrant was issued in 1996. and convicted in 2011. so in answer to your question, about 15 years..

      April 5, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Northern2014

    Boring scam.

    April 5, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. HUMMMMM??

    Not Ratko Mladic, I SAID HOW LONG WOULD " KONY " LAST

    April 5, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      lol.. easy..

      since kony wouldn't be in europe, i had to go with a european example of a mass murderer in hiding.. that's still pretty good compared to africans dealing with their mass murderers.

      April 5, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Philip

    Who really is Africa's Warlord?

    April 5, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Philip

    Who really does lord over Africa, with arms when necessarry.

    April 5, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Philip

    The lord of any manor sort of stands-out from the others. He's usually the one wearing the most diamonds and "struggling" with obesity. His dish? Well oiled, of course. Who really does lord it over africa? (Besides China, UK, Germany, Russia, France, etc...name another lord of Africa)

    April 5, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. leeintulsa

    pat robertson? he gained diamond mines in liberia and sierra leon by lobbying in dc for charles taylor..

    April 5, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Jesus spoke.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. leeintulsa

    anyone who gets anything out of africa does it through their leaders. the leaders get rich, while their people continue to struggle.

    jonathan goodluck, the president of nigeria, has this plan to try and get his people dependable electricity. electricity! something nigeria should have had years ago, especially considering the resources they have to trade and sell. he basicly took power the same way mo did in libya.

    the leaders of africa are not bright-eyed innocents, waiting to be taken advantage of by the rest of the world. they do what makes them rich, getting reelected by any means possible.

    how's this for in your face: charles taylor got reelected in liberia using this slogan, verbatim – "he killed my ma, he killed my pa, but i will vote for him.".

    the africans play us, not the other way around..

    April 5, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
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