Childers’ story is nothing if not cinematic. Act 1: He spends his youth running drugs, riding Harleys, packing heat and doing time. Act 2: In his 30s, he suddenly finds God, builds his own church and starts preaching himself. Act 3: On a mission trip to southern Sudan, he sees a child’s body torn apart by a land mine. The searing experience inspires him to build an orphanage there — and to take up arms himself against the Lord’s Resistance Army, a Uganda-based militia group notorious for mutilating, killing and conscripting children into its cult-like ranks.
The prime challenge of the film, a flawed hero’s tale, is to capture Childers’ duality — is he a man of God, a vigilante or both? — while straddling the line between real emotion and schmaltz. It’s a tough balance to strike, especially considering how the subject matter makes grown men cry when they get to talking about it.