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 »
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
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 »
Most people have brilliant reasons to do nothing at all.
See more »
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 »
Flawed but worthy exploration of a difficult subject
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.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this