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The Silent Army (2008)

Wit licht (original title)
Child soldiers in Africa are at the fore in this tale of a white restaurant owner in an African town bordering a conflict zone. When his son's African friend Abu is abducted, he sets out to... See full summary »


Jean van de Velde


Jean van de Velde (screenplay)
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview:
Marco Borsato Marco Borsato ... Eduard Zuiderwijk
Abby Mukiibi Nkaaga Abby Mukiibi Nkaaga ... Michel Obeke
Thekla Reuten ... Valerie
Andrew Kintu Andrew Kintu ... Abu
Siebe Schoneveld ... Thomas Zuiderwijk
Peter Van den Begin ... François Lama
Ricky Koole ... Anna Zuiderwijk
Adrian Galley ... Ruud van Kalenberg
Jacqueline Blom Jacqueline Blom ... Agnes van Dam
Frederick Mpuuga Frederick Mpuuga ... Rebel commander
Vuks Ngcingwana Vuks Ngcingwana ... Commander
Sam Okelo Sam Okelo ... Abu's Father


Child soldiers in Africa are at the fore in this tale of a white restaurant owner in an African town bordering a conflict zone. When his son's African friend Abu is abducted, he sets out to find the boy, and walks right into a training camp exploiting children like Abu. Written by Pusan International Film Festival

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Drama | Thriller

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The international version of this film ("The Silent Army") was the original Dutch entry for the Academy Awards' Best Foreign Film. However, the film was turned down because it was a re-cut version. This led to the submission of Winter in Wartime (2008). See more »


Valerie: Most people have brilliant reasons to do nothing at all.
See more »

Alternate Versions

A shorter (92 minutes) version that left out all the music and focused less on Marco Borsato was cut under the supervision of French critic, director and editor Pierre Rissient. This version was retitled 'The Silent Army'. See more »


Featured in De wereld draait door: Episode #5.3 (2009) See more »

User Reviews

Flawed but worthy exploration of a difficult subject
14 October 2016 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

THE SILENT ARMY is a Dutch film looking at the plight of child soldiers fighting for warlords in sub-Saharan Africa. The film humanises the story by having as its central protagonist a white man desperately hunting for the kidnapped son of a friend who has been taken by a notorious general and who is now a ruthlessly cold-blooded killer.

The film I can best compare this with is JOHNNY MAD DOG, a Liberian effort which had greater authenticity and realism but hardly any kind of story. Thus THE SILENT ARMY is the better picture, even though the story is spoilt a little by the low budget; some of the moments are rather cheesy (such as a CGI explosion) which is a pity given the grittiness seen elsewhere in the story.

The language is a mixture of English and Dutch. The acting is generally authentic and compelling enough to keep you watching. The film is violent and harrowing without ever being disgustingly graphic. The actor who played the warlord made the film for me with his completely chilling and efficient performance devoid of emotion and feeling. It's a film worth watching if you can handle the subject matter.

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Dutch | English | Swahili | French

Release Date:

11 December 2008 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

The Silent Army See more »

Filming Locations:

South Africa See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS (5.1)



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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