A Child's Century of War | Chicago Reader

A Child's Century of War

Modern war is no longer a matter of battles between armies—civilian populations are targets too, and children are not spared from the carnage. Shelley Saywell's 2001 video focuses on the fate of kids caught up in current strife in Chechnya and Sierra Leone and on the West Bank. The footage is heartbreaking, but the sedate narration read by Christopher Plummer underemphasizes the most horrifying aspect of the story: many of these kids are no longer innocents. A Jewish girl wants to see all Palestinians lose their Hebron homes; a Chechen boy's only dream for the future is “revenge”; a boy in Sierra Leone says he “can't count” how many arms he has amputated or how many people he has killed. These children aren't just victims of war—they're also partisans. 90 min.

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