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Tom Van Avermaet
Peter van den Eede
Today I went to a special showing of the Oscar-nominated Live Action films. This was a very unusual year because I don't see any clear winner nor did I see any film I disliked. Oddly, however, I didn't see any I loved either and picking the winner is amazingly difficult.
Of all the nominees, "That Wasn't Me" might be the most important and is definitely the most difficult to watch. This is because the filmmakers are trying to draw attention to the god-awful problem in Africa of child soldiers and the scum that force these kids to abandon their childhoods. It is a horrible problem and the film did a great job of showing this hellish existence. Not surprisingly, it's not a pleasant film but it is an exceptional film and is probably the film second most likely to win the Oscar (I think "Helium" has a slight edge--ever so slight). On the other hand, I am often wrong--and what do I know? The film deserves kudos for attacking an important issue, pulling on your heart and having an excellent style.
My only gripe, and it's VERY VERY minor, is that the rape scene is still a little more explicit than I wish they'd done it--but, on the other hand, I do understand why they did it. If you don't show enough, it diminishes the evil of the act--though it sure made me feel very uncomfortable. Because of this and some cold-blooded killings, the film is definitely NOT something to show younger viewers. But it is brave and very well made.
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