Sam Childers was a drug-dealing criminal who underwent a personal transformation and dedicated his life to saving child victims from the Lord’s Resistance Army in East Africa. He’s rescued more than a thousand orphans from starvation, disease and slavery, and now his story is being told in a new Hollywood film, Machine Gun Preacher.

Starring Gerard Butler (300) and directed by Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland), this soon-to-be-released film is a story of violence and redemption. In it, Sam Childers (Butler) makes the life-changing decision to go to East Africa to help repair homes destroyed by civil war, he is outraged by the unspeakable horrors faced by the region’s vulnerable populace, especially the children. Ignoring the warnings of more experienced aide workers, Sam breaks ground for an orphanage where it’s most needed–in the middle of territory controlled by the brutal Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a renegade militia that forces youngsters to become soldiers before they even reach their teens. But for Sam, it is not enough to shelter the LRA’s intended victims. Determined to save as many as possible, he leads armed missions deep into enemy territory to retrieve kidnapped children, restoring peace to their lives – and eventually his own.

Machine Gun Preacher also stars Michelle Monaghan (Due Date), Kathy Baker (Cold Mountain), Madeline Carroll (Mr. Popper’s Penguins), Academy Award-nominated Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road) and Souleymane Sy Savane (“Damages”).

We’ve got free passes to give to the Help-Portrait community to an upcoming screening in select U.S. cities. Click here and use the code “Portrait” to RSVP.

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