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

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


User Rating:
7.3/10   449 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
View company contact information for Ballad of the Little Soldier on IMDbPro.
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:
Narratively wobbly, but powerful nonetheless See more (7 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 »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
2 out of 3 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.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (7 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Ballad of the Little Soldier (1984)


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
My Best Fiend Pictures from a Revolution Burden of Dreams The Lost Republic II 638 Ways to Kill Castro
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
IMDb Documentary section IMDb West Germany section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.