War Witch | Chicago Reader

War Witch

Rated NR 89 minutes 2012

Canadian writer-director Kim Nguyen spent nearly a decade researching this docudrama about child soldiers in Africa, and the film feels as authoritative as a first-hand account. Komona (Rachel Mwanza in an extraordinary debut performance) is abducted by guerrillas at age 12 and forced to fight in their war against government troops; the movie follows her over the next two years as she rises in the rebel army and ultimately makes her escape. Given the subject matter, this is predictably harrowing, yet Nguyen leavens the horror with moments of magic realism and sensitive depictions of the children—both of which are fluidly integrated into the larger story. In French with subtitles.

Film Credits

Director: Kim Nguyen

Producer: Pierre Even and Marie-Claude Poulin

Cast: Rachel Mwanza, Alain Bastien, Serge Kanyinda, Ralph Prosper, Mizinga Mwinga and Jean Kabuya

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