IMDb > Ballad of the Little Soldier (1984) (TV)

Ballad of the Little Soldier (1984) (TV) More at IMDbPro »Ballade vom kleinen Soldaten (original title)


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Release Date:
3 April 1985 (USA) See more »
1984 documentary film directed by Werner Herzog about children soldiers in Nicaragua. The film focuses on a group of Miskito Indians who used children soldiers in their resistance against the Sandinistas. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Recruiting the young to fight an adult war See more (6 total) »



Werner Herzog ... Himself (voice)
Denis Reichle ... Himself

Directed by
Werner Herzog 
Denis Reichle 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Werner Herzog 
Denis Reichle 

Produced by
Werner Herzog .... producer
Manfred Nägele .... producer: SDR
Cinematography by
Michael Edols 
Jorge Vignati 
Film Editing by
Maximiliane Mainka 
Sound Department
Christine Ebenberger .... sound
Editorial Department
Draha Cicek .... assistant editor
Other crew
Werner Herzog .... commentary
Denis Reichle .... researcher

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Ballade vom kleinen Soldaten" - West Germany (original title)
See more »
Germany:46 min | USA:46 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Werner Herzog:We didn't know that the last cow in the village was slaughtered to honor us.See more »


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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
Recruiting the young to fight an adult war, 9 July 2008
Author: dbborroughs from Glen Cove, New York

Werner Herzog looks at the young soldiers who make up the Miskito Indian rebel army. The Indians are an abused minority who sided with the Sandinistas in the Nicaragua civil war. However once the Sandinistas won the Indians were once more an abuse minority and had to fight once more for their rights.

The first part of the film deals with the war itself and how the adults are handling it. The second part of the film deals with the 10,11 and 12 year olds who are being recruited into the fight because there simply not enough men to carry on the fight. This is a film that is rather eerie with its reflections to the suicide bombers that have become part of life in some parts of the world. The problem is not new, with Herzog's co director telling the story about fighting in Berlin in the final weeks of the Second World War as a member of the Hitler Youth.

The film is good but not great film with the film running much too long for what it is. While it does show us something most people were not aware of, its also rather static with much of the film made up by people in large groups sitting around looking into the camera while one person speaks. The result is a desire to reach for the remote ( a rare thing for any Herzog film). Worth a look if you stumble on it, but not something worth searching for. 6.5 out of 10

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IMDb Documentary section IMDb West Germany section

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