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Finding Courage by Wijk, Joop van

(Echoes of war)

Finding Courage is the directors cut of the worldwide acclaimed documentary 'Echoes of War'. It is a poignant realistic portrayal of the consequences of war to the innocence of children. In Finding Courage, the animated story of a little elephant who looses his father in a jungle war catapults children from Afghanistan, Colombia, Sierra Leone and New York to share their moving stories, memories, nightmares and dreams.

Social Interest
In countries struggling with the direct consequences of war, the film tells the story of their children. Since children are every countries future peacemakers and/or future troublemakers as fighters and aggressors, efforts to promote attitudes that empower children to actively join in the promotion of peace are essential. For audiences not directly affected by war and violence, the film moves them to feel the consequences to children. Though a film cannot create world peace, Finding Courage can be a powerful catalyst to move children and adults to understand the problems and become activists for peace.

Educational interest
Since Finding Courage was made (aka Echoes of War), the film has been used in peace building initiatives called Quest for Peace in quite a few countries hit by the consequences of war and violence. Audiences in schools, communities, public centers, refugee and displacement camps and military installations watch the film together. Afterwards, trained facilitators direct them to discuss their viewing experiences and promote practical community based action steps for peace.

Political Relevance
Finding Courage takes us beyond the politics and rhetoric of statesmen, terrorists and soldiers. Filmed by an Award Winning team, children survivors share how they try to find the courage to live on in the aftermath of war despite the horrors. Finding Courage makes us realize that war creates war through the victims it leaves behind.

Comments by viewers

  • It is the reality of what our war did to our children. Now we have to fix it.? (Liberia parent)
  • I feel angry. Our President and every lawmaker and military person should see it so they realize the consequences of the violence that they don't control.? (Uganda youth)
  • Each country is so much the same. The innocent suffer the most.? (Somalia parent)
  • I was amazed to see the same tears in the white children who lost their fathers. They are so rich but suffer the same.? (Sierra Leone grandmother)
  • I couldn't sleep the night after I saw it. That wasn't bad. It was good for me. Now I know the truth about war.? (USA child)


  • 2003 National Women's Studies Association Film Festival
  • 2002 Rotterdam International Film Festival
  • 2002 Cinema du Reel (Paris)
  • 2002 Sheffield International Documentary Festival (UK)
  • 2002 One World Human Rights Film Festival (Prague)
  • 2002 Seoul Human Rights Film Festival
  • 2002 Leipzig International Documentary Festival
  • 2001 Amsterdam International Documentary Festival

    Buy the DVD
    If you are interested in the DVD and books, please contact the producers of the film at their website for information about how a DVD of the film and /or the accompanying book & teachers manual can be ordered and how Quest for Peace activities can be expanded to your country.

  • Director
    Wijk, Joop van
    Copyright Holder
    Joop van Wijk
    52 min.
    Year of release
    Country of production

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