Ezra | Chicago Reader

Ezra

Newton I. Aduaka directed this fictional chronicle, about the making of a child soldier (the title character, played by Mamoudu Turay Kamara). Set in an unnamed African country, the film follows Ezra from his school-yard abduction and political indoctrination by a militia group through his brutal actions in a civil war and beyond. The tale is told through flashbacks and from multiple perspectives, as various witnesses to Ezra's acts testify before a truth and reconciliation committee in an effort to help assimilate the boy into the postwar community. Not especially convincing as drama, thanks to its ham-handed narrative— the movie sometimes seems like a random compilation of acts of terror—Ezra is pretty effective at conveying the complicated societal dilemmas and grim psychological toll caused by the exploitation of children for political and military gain. 110 min.

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