Shangri-La to hell in ten years: How did Nepal, a peaceful landlocked country, become home to the most dramatic Maoist insurgency in modern history? RETURNED: Child Soldiers of Nepal’s Maoist Army
tells the personal story of Nepali boys and girls as they attempt to rebuild their lives after fighting a Maoist revolution. Through the voices of former child soldiers, the film examines why these children joined the Maoists and explores the prevention of future recruitment.
The children describe their dramatic recruitment and participation in the Maoist People’s Liberation Army during the eleven-year civil war between the Maoist insurgents and the Hindu monarch of Nepal. The girls’ stories demonstrate how voluntarily joining the violent Maoist struggle became their only option to escape the gender discrimination and sexual violence of traditional Hindu culture in Nepal. With the major conflict ended and the Maoists in control of the government, these children are now discarded by the Maoist leadership and forced to return home to communities and families that want nothing to do with them. For many of the children of Nepal’s Maoist Army, the return home can be even more painful than the experience of war.
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