Follows the journey of a young boy, Agu, who is forced to join a group of soldiers in a fictional West African country. While Agu fears his commander and many of the men around him, his fledgling childhood has been brutally shattered by the war raging through his country, and he is at first torn between conflicting revulsion and fascination Depicts the mechanics of war and does not shy away from explicit, visceral detail, and paints a complex, difficult picture of Agu as a child soldier.Written by
Cary Joji Fukunaga colored the film personally, basing the look largely off of 1970s photo-chemical film stock. See more »
When Agu is first captured by the NDF and made to carry a crate of ammunition, it is a crate of 5.56x45mm rounds (according to the markings on the crate). Curiously, neither side in the civil war uses weapons that chamber this round; the NDF forces all carry Kalashnikov variants chambered in 7.62x39mm while the NRC soldiers favor HK G3 variants chambered in 7.62x51mm. See more »
It is starting like this.
[watching other children playing]
Let's keep looking. They aren't good enough.
Hey, let's take that girl.
That girl. Zoey. Let's take her.
Ah... No. What about that one?
[...] See more »
I was sceptical of watching this film at first. It looked like a low budget, and amateur attempt for Netflix to get bigger in their original film business. I went to IMDb to see what people had to say, noticed it got decent reviews and decided to give it a shot. Let me say, this is one of the best films I have ever seen within this genre.
Without spoiling anything, I will say that this is about the general civil warfare that exists in Africa, something most western, shelterd Americans have never even fathomed and have only learned about through movies. The film doesn't specify what part of Africa it is, but you know it is something that is real.
Netflix doesn't hide anything about the realities of what happens to families, children, fathers, and brothers, as well as the numbness the war leaders (on both sides, really) have toward excessive and brutal violence. Imagine: the film shows all of this through the eyes of a boy, probably only 12 years old. He is forced into a mercenary squad after his family is torn apart, and he experiences something that is even darker than hell itself.
That young boy, played by Abraham Attah, puts on a performance I have never seen before in a child actor. Given the mature content of the film, it is quite unbelievable that the torn emotions any child would have, given this situation, is so clearly displayed and authentic. Every scene just tore at my soul; I wondered if it was really acting. And he wasn't the only one; women, children, and the "extras" in the film: are these people really doing their first major film? Each scene left me speechless.
The emotional involvement I had with this film as a viewer is astonishing. I felt ashamed at myself for thinking my life had problems, for thinking my life was hard. I felt foolish realizing my immaturity in life, and felt embarrassed for us as America in general, for caring so much about things so materialistic and shallow, when people in Africa (and other parts of the world, no doubt), are fighting for their lives every day, being torn apart by corrupt leaders and greed.
To compare this film, it is similar to The City of God and Blood Diamond, but in an of itself, it is certainly unique. It's a masterpiece.
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