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 »
Genre:
Plot:
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:
Narratively wobbly, but powerful nonetheless See more (6 total) »

Cast

 

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 »
Runtime:
Germany:46 min | USA:46 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

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

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Narratively wobbly, but powerful nonetheless, 5 March 2014
Author: tomgillespie2002 from United Kingdom

German film-maker Werner Herzog is well-known for his obsession with, well, obsession, finding joy and producing some great documentaries over the years championing the quirkiness of the human spirit. With Ballad of the Little Soldier, the focus is not on the idiosyncratic but on the child soldiers serving in Nicaragua fighting for the native Miskito Indians against the oppressive Sandinistas. Although he may deny it, this is Herzog's most political film to date. With co-director Denis Reichle, who served the Nazi's in the Volkssturm, Herzog's interviews various Miskito inhabitants who have fallen victim of the brutal Sandinistan regime.

At only 45 minutes long, Herzog and Reichle manage to paint a large picture of what life was like for the Miskito's. A woman wails about her family, butchered at the hands of the Socialist Sandinistas, whose government initiative to move the Miskito's into civilised society has led to their villages being sacked and torched, and the mass murder of men, women and children. The persistent nature of Herzog and Reichle's interview techniques do often make things uncomfortable, but it certainly makes for devastating viewing.

Narratively, the film is all over the place. The cinema verite style contradicts the film's title, shifting focus away from the children far too often in favour of the adult soldiers, who march past the camera with similar resigned, weathered expressions. But this is still powerful stuff, with Herzog's narration lending the film a dream-like quality amidst the seriousness of the subject matter, and Reichle's recollection of his time in the Volksstrum as a child making for difficult viewing, especially told in the context of the events that were unfolding in Nicaragua. Although this is far from Herzog's best documentary, he manages to achieve more in 45 minutes than most documentarians could only dream of.

www.the-wrath-of-blog.blogspot.com

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Related Links

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IMDb Documentary section IMDb West Germany section

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