The much-anticipated sequel to viral documentary KONY 2012 was released on Thursday, with the charity behind it answering critics, touting its success and ratcheting up pressure on an internationally-wanted Ugandan warlord.
"KONY 2012: Part II-Beyond Famous" clocks in at just under 20 minutes and delves deeper into the Lord's Resistance Army and its wave of violence across Central Africa under the command of guerrilla leader Joseph Kony. The first documentary on Kony by the nonprofit Invisible Children garnered more than 100 million views after being released on YouTube.
The newest documentary also looks into efforts that are underway across the region to end Kony's reign of violence, according to a press release from Invisible Children.
The advocacy group responds to critics who say that the original over-simplified a complex issue, was too American-centric, promoted "slacktivism," and was the work of a charity that provides little money directly to the people they intend to help.
In a prepared statement, Ben Keesey, CEO of the non-profit group, said,“We want people to dig deeper into this conflict and actively engage in the solutions."
“A month ago, we launched Kony 2012 with the goal to make Joseph Kony famous in order to bring his crimes to light, and people all around the world are now calling for his arrest. "Beyond Famous" is a call to turn global awareness into informed action.”
The film also highlights advances made by the group since releasing the first film a month ago, noting that 92 members of Congress are sponsoring bipartisan resolutions that state their support to end the tyranny of Kony and the LRA.
Noticeably absent from the new film is narration by the original director, Jason Russell, who suffered a mental breakdown after he and the advocacy group were thrust into the spotlight when the first documentary came out..
Russell has been hospitalized ever since.
The Associated Press contributed reporting to this story.