A month to the day after the original half-hour documentary about the crimes of indicted Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony took the Internet by storm—racking up over 104 million views on Youtube and exploding onto the world's consciousness—the folks at nonprofit Invisible Children have unleashed a sequel.
Dubbed Kony 2012: Part II—Beyond Famous, the film is a 20-minute exposé that seeks to capitalize on the massive viral success of its predecessor, which drew attention to the reign of terror by Kony's Lord's Resistance Army by looking at possible strategies activists can take to stop the guerilla leader from kidnapping children and turning them into child soldiers, among other war crimes.
"One month later, we are releasing this film to explain the creation of the campaign, the progress that's already been made and what we can all do now to stop the violence of the LRA," says narrator Ben Keesey in the new film.
One person missing from this latest production is Jason Russell, the Invisible Children cofounder who directed the first installment and ended up hospitalized after an unfortunate episode earlier this month near his home in San Diego.
While he recovers, Invisible Children has carried on his vision and hopes Part II will help counter charges by critics that the group practices "slacktivism"—i.e. overly simplifying the issues that had the adverse effect of elevating Kony's celebrity instead of tackling the complexities of the subject.
This time around, the makers set the record straight on some facts that went unmentioned in Kony 2012—like the fact that Kony and his army had abandoned northern Uganda in 2006 and that conditions in the region have vastly improved, though the African outlaw remains a threat to neighboring countries.
They also aim to provide viewers with ways to make a difference, including contacting U.S. policymakers on April 20 in a day of action called "Cover the Night" and calling on them to increase funding to help end the conflict in central Africa and capture Kony.
"Telling the leaders you care is critical to the success of these efforts. Your voice changes everything," adds Keesey.