The writer of Ecclesiastes says there is a time for everything—a time to be silent and a time to speak. All God's Children was made for the latter. The 2008 documentary was inspired by an article that ran in Christianity Today in April 1998, exposing alleged child abuse at the Mamou Alliance Academy in Guinea, West Africa, a Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) boarding school for missionary kids.
At Mamou during the 1960s, dozens of children were beaten, abused, and even raped by teachers and overseers, and told that if they ever revealed what went on, they would be defeating their parents' work and damning millions of potential African converts. Now adults, many of Mamou's survivors have banded together to confront the demons of their past, seek justice, and, in some cases, offer forgiveness.
All God's Children is a harrowing tale. Including firsthand interviews and footage of children at the school (though showing no abusive situations), the film offers a glimpse into the long-term mental and spiritual ramifications of violence practiced against the innocent. Many of the former students have left the faith, some struggle with their sexuality, and others battle depression and suicide. One ex-student could not conceive of a world in which anyone would want children, while another finds hymns nauseating because they were the soundtrack of his abusive childhood. Yet another felt compelled to show the world that his experiences were a perverted aberration of God's will and is now a minister.
All God's Children struggles to find meaning amid grief compounded by decades of disregard and a willful lack of justice. It also serves as a clarion call to organizations that would ignore and suppress the truth rather than drag ...