Johnny Mad Dog Reviews
Brutal and kinetic from the opening seconds, it follows a platoon of mostly child soldiers in an unnamed West African state as they maraude through the countryside, villages and take on the capital in their bid to... well, that's never really understood.
The cast seem to be mainly 'non-actors' and their natural performances are all the more chilling as they brutalise, rape, humiliate and murder virtually everyone they come across. Screaming savage chants it's as though they have been drugged, and all vestiges of their previous childhood have been excised from their souls.
Swarming down shattered streets in all manner of looted and pillaged costumes, jewellery and adornments (but with automatic weapons almost as big as they are) they look like a twisted bunch of trick or treaters.
There's no easy ending here, no hint of redemption or hope for anyone. Everyone is dehumanised, broken and left to scavenge for their life. The UN are virtually absent, meekly defending a hospital where they can, but even within refugee camps the atmosphere is scarcely any better than mob rule. It doesn't make any explicit political comment, but surely any human being watching this can only find it shocking and wrong in every way possible.
El quid de la cuestion en esta en concreto es como todo el mundo es victima: el pueblo que bastante tiene con buscar para comer... pero tambien (y esto el lo importante de esta cinta), estos ninyos atrapados en el "juego-locura" de la guerra, sin escapatoria, sin medios, sin suerte, con mas que una tragedia a sus espaldas y que, maldita sea, tienen el mismo derecho que yo, que escribo esta critica, a la educacion, la salud, en fin...
Un mundo sin sentido? Puede... O puede que no: la pelicula tiene la enorme virtud de sacar la esperanza en una chispa elegante en un final enorme, no con enganyos o manejos edulcorados, sino mostrando la realidad plena de esa esperanza, la de los dos encuentros de los dos protagonistas, la de por que en el primero guardan silencio y el segundo es de palabras... ambos de plena comunicacion humana.
The film makes no attempt to spare the viewer from the world in which these characters live, in fact some of the actors were child soldiers themselves.
We all know that west Africa is in effect a total war zone, and if you are in the mood to really see how life for the child soldiers is then this film is what you should watch.