Wednesday, January 23, 2013

War Witch (Kim Nguyen, 2012)

War Witch explores the story of a 12-year-old African girl, abducted from her village by armed rebels and is forced to wage war as a child soldier. The film is a dramatic exploration of a child soldier's tumultuous life that never becomes too sentimental or overtly sensationalistic - a familiar pitfall for a film in this genre. Instead it is a straightforward portrayal of young Komona. Despite the extreme cruelty, the film is narrated with enough sensitivity. The actors are natural, dialogue is treated with necessity, cinematography is supremely imaginative with an in-action trance while at the same time maintains calculated detachment. Apart from the above, the real gem in the movie is Nguyen's varied taste for African folk and contemporary music and their skillful use, respectfully infusing images and music to carve out memorable frames. While tough on eyes at times, it is tender at heart and exudes hope.

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