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Kony 2012: Director of video agrees with critics (+video)

Kony 2012: The ICC chief prosecutor praised the Kony 2012 video Monday. The director of the Invisible Children viral video agrees that he 'oversimplified' the issues.

By Christine KearneyReuters / March 12, 2012

Prosecutor Louis Moreno Ocampo at the International Criminal Court, or ICC, in The Hague, Netherlands, The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Joseph Kony in 2005.

(AP Photo/Peter Dejong)


New York

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) says that he supports Kony 2012, the campaign to capture alleged Ugandan war criminal Joseph Kony.

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Louis Moreno Ocampo told the BBC Monday that the social media campaign by Invisible Children had "mobilized the world." The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Kony in 2005.

Meanwhile, the director of a video sensation that calls for the arrest of Kony agreed on Friday with critics who have called the film oversimplified, saying it was deliberately made that way.

The 30-minute YouTube film called "Kony 2012," which by Friday had been viewed on YouTube more than 58 million times, aims to wake up the world to atrocities committed by Kony's Lord's Resistance Army, including kidnapping children and forcing them to fight.

In PICTURES: The Lord's Resistance Army

Filmmaker Jason Russell's nonprofit group, Invisible Children, tapped 12 influential policy makers and 20 celebrities with popular Twitter accounts, including Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie, to spread the video. Since then, the company owned by powerful producer Harvey Weinstein has contacted Russell to buy the film.

The phenomenal success of the video, including the savvy media campaign with tweets about Kony, has been hailed for inspiring young people to activism, but has suffered some criticism including that it oversimplified a long-standing human rights crisis.

Russell, who narrates the video with a personal story that juxtaposes shots of his young son in San Diego, California with the hopelessness of Ugandan children, told Reuters on Friday the video was only meant as a kick-starter to a complicated issue.

"It definitely oversimplifies the issue. This video is not the answer, it's just the gateway into the conversation. And we made it quick and oversimplified on purpose," he said. "We are proud that it is simple. We like that. And we want you to keep investigating, we want you to read the history."

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