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Komona, a girl in Sub-Saharan Africa, tells the story to her unborn child about her kidnapping by rebels and forced to join their bloody civil war. When she discovers a valuable intuition about the presence of the enemy, she is elevated as a witch and favored by the rebel leader. However, this special status threatens to be short-lived in this world of superstition and senseless brutality even as the ghosts of the war dead haunt her visions. However, when a newfound friend convinces her to desert, Komona finds escaping that brutal life is far from easy with its physical and spiritual consequences following her wherever she goes. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
I expected much more from "War Witch". After all, it was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Oscar and is about a very important topic, children who are kidnapped and forced to serve in evil rebel forces in Africa. I've seen several documentaries about this (especially in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda) and the films have been absolutely heartbreaking to watch due to the evil being perpetrated by these groups (such as the Lord's Army). Yet, inexplicably, "War Witch" seemed far less hard-hitting and interesting.
When the film begins, the main character (later dubbed the 'War Witch') is narrating about her life two years earlier. An unnamed rebel group in an unnamed African nation comes on a small village and they kidnap the children (who looked about ages 10-14) and they forced these victims to murder their own parents! Then, they are taken to a rag- tag rebel camp and indoctrinated. The rest of the film follows this girl's adventures--such as her strange ability to see dead people as well as her ill-fated marriage.
Considering how tough the film began, I was really surprised that over time the film just seemed to fizzle and seemed to lack direction. The film SHOULD have been a strong indictment of the evil forces on the continent that rob children of their childhoods but it got lost, a bit, with the ghosts, white chicken, marriage and other distractions. My advice--see one of the documentaries instead, such as "Sewing Hope".
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