There is a growing popular awareness of child soldiers through films such as Blood Diamond, 24: Redemption on Fox Network
, and the personal memoir of a boy soldier in Ishmael Beah's A Long Way Gone
, which has been on the New York Times' bestseller list for over a year. This has primed an American public interested to hear more real-life stories of child soldiers. And, because the Maoists have been labeled a terrorist group by the US government, this documentary will attract attention of both conservative and liberal viewers interested in the global "War on Terror." This is one of a small number of documentaries that reveals how children voluntarily become part of U.S.-labeled 'terrorist' groups. In addition, the film encourages viewers to reflect on surprising similarities between child soldiers in Nepal and young men and women, some also in their late teens, returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Moreover, the story of child soldiers echoes themes heard about growing involvement of youth in gang violence in America. This film, therefore, has appeal to anyone interested in politics, economics, and the exploitation and abuse of children.
Another anticipated audience for this film includes college educated individuals with a background in liberal arts, Asian studies, history or political science. The irony of using U.S. tax dollars to educate and promote democracy abroad should be apparent today and raises the question of whether we should be meddling in other countries affairs given that the results cannot always be predicted. There already is a strong interest among anthropologists, humanitarian workers, international health workers, and individuals working on international child rights. The appeal of this film has already been demonstrated through awards for the 30-minute short version including "Best Child Advocacy Documentary" (Artivist Film Festival), "Jury Award" (Society for Visual Anthropologists), and "Best Documentary Short" (Atlanta Underground Film Festival).