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Machine Gun Preacher (2011) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

  • In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, addicted gang biker Sam Childers is released from prison and learns that his wife Lynn is no longer a stripper but has converted to Christianity. One night, Sam and his best friend Donnie give a ride to a hitchhiker who threatens Donnie with a pocketknife; however Sam reacts and turns the tables on the stranger. Sam is affected by the incident and is convinced by Lynn and his mother Daisy to join their church, and he is baptized. Sam finds a straight job in construction. When he meets a preacher from Africa, he decides to visit the continent. Sam travels to Northern Uganda and South Sudan many times and builds an orphanage for the victims of the cruel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Further, he fights whenever necessary and becomes a legend known as The Machine Gun Preacher.

  • Sam Childs is a real-life ex-biker gang member. He decides to turn his life around by heading to East Africa to help repair homes that have been destroyed by civil war. He is affected by the plight of the people, especially the children. Against advice, he begins building an orphanage in militia territory. He also goes on an armed mission to rescue the children who have been kidnapped by the militia - who are being taken and forced to become child soldiers.

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  • Sam Childers is a former drug-dealing biker tough guy who found God and became a crusader for hundreds of Sudanese children who've been forced to become soldiers.


Spoilers

The synopsis below may give away important plot points.

Synopsis

  • The film is an adaptation of Childers' memoir Another Man's War.[4] Although the film centers on Childers, it starts off with a scene in Sudan, where the LRA are attacking a village. This opening scene is placed into context later in the film. Childers was an alcoholic drug-using biker from Minnesota. On his release from prison, he finds that his wife has given up her job as a stripper, because she has since become a christian. Eventually, after almost killing a vagrant the night before, his wife persuades him to go to church with her where he is eventually converted.

    Later, on a church/missionary trip to Uganda to build homes for refugees, he asks one of the SPLA soldiers watching over them to take him on a trip to the north, to Sudan. The soldier warns him that it is a war zone, but upon Sam's insistence they go. They arrive at a medical tent in Sudan, as his friend moves off to talk came in to some people, Sam is roped in by a redheaded female doctor to help lift a lipless Sudanese woman onto the examination table. That night as they lay on their beds at the relief station, they hear noises outside, when they look out Sam and the soldier see large numbers of Sudanese children swarming in to sleep outside the building.

    The soldier explains that their parents send them to sleep over there because it is safer than staying in their own village. Sam wakes up the children and gets them to sleep in their room for the night. The next day they follow the children back to their village only to find that the LRA burnt it down and killed their parents. Then one of the children runs after his dog and dies upon stepping on a hidden landmine. Sam then decides to build an orphanage for the children of South Sudan. After the orphanage is built, the LRA attack it under cover of night and burn it to the ground. Sam then phones home, telling his wife what happened and that he is giving up. She reminds him that the orphans have been through worse but they haven't given up, and that he shouldn't give up and tells him to rebuild the orphanage.

    One night after the orphanage has been rebuilt, he and his friends from the SPLA are attacked on the road by the LRA, they manage to chase off the small force of the LRA that attacked them. They then search the area and discover a large group of Sudanese children hiding in a ditch not far from the road, since they can't take all the children in one trip, Sam chooses to take the ones who need medical attention along with a few others on their first trip back to the ophanage. However, upon returning to the spot as quickly as he could, he finds that the LRA burnt those he'd left behind. It is from here he leads armed raids to rescue children from the Lords Resistance Army.

    In the end credits are included black and white pictures of the real Sam Childers, his wife and his daughter plus his orphanage in Sudan. The pictures are followed by a short black and white home video clip of Sam talking about his work, all the while with the credits rolling on left hand of the screen.

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