In a nameless, African country riven with civil war, a young female lawyer is the court-appointed counsel for a rebel leader. He has been accused of serious war crimes and his reputation is that of a butcher. But the idealistic lawyer encounters the delinquent unflinchingly. The pair size each other up as in a chess match and move by move get closer to the truth. The defendant was a child soldier. Did that make him what he is today?
Having a general knowledge of African geopolitics and of life in Africa is a great help in understanding this film because the points made by the films are often very subtle and very African. With this caveat out of the way, what a gem of a film this was. Is it a thriller : Yes ! Is it a court room thriller : Yes ! Is it a political film : Yes ! Is it a war film : Yes ! Is it realistically African : Yes ! Does it leave you thinking about it for hours afterwards : Absolutely Yes ! If you understand French, the original dialogue is best, but, thankfully, the English subtitles were for the most part good translations.
Without giving too much away there are so many subtly made statements by this film that you will never guess the main statement it is leading you towards, and yet where you think it is leading you throughout most of the film is itself gripping to the core.
An absolute masterpiece.
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