Beasts of No Nation (2015)





Abraham Attah, Idris Elba, Ama K. Abebrese, Kobina Amissah-Sam, Emmanuel Nii Adom Quaye, Grace Nortey, David Dontoh, Opeyemi Fagbohungbe


In West Africa, the life of young Agu (Abraham Attah) is disrupted when his father (Kobina Amissah-Sam) is slaughtered in a civil war and he is inscripted as a child soldier into a mercenary unit led by the sadistic Commandant (Idris Elba).


I've been looking forward to watch this film for months, and now that I've finally seen it I can say it was worth the waiting.

Definitely hard to watch, "Beasts of No Nation" is a devastating and one of the most powerful war films recently made that brutally shows the horror humankind can commit.

After working for seven years on the script, Cary Joji Fukunaga went to Africa to tell a heart-wrenching story of war, child soldiers, slaughters and desolation. He managed to do all of that tactfully, avoiding to fall into vulgarity, and he took all the time he needed to tell not only about war, but about the drastic psychological change of Agu, firstly child, then man, and lastly soldier.

With his beautiful documentary-looking cinematography, Fukunaga captures the horrors of war also making use of dark and gloomy ambiences, sometimes empty - like the soldiers' minds -, and sometimes immersed in the jungle.

Last but not least, the acting. Young Abraham Attah does an outstanding job at showing his character's transformation, from innocent young boy to brutal warrior, and probably gives the best performance by a child actor that I've ever seen. Immense and charismatic, Idris Elba delivers a terrific performance as the Commandant, the man who sees children like animals that only have to follow orders, and deserves part of the credits for the making of this disturbing film. The rest of the cast is also great, in particular the children.

So Idris Elba is not going to be the next James Bond? Not a big deal as long as he keeps working on these kind of projects.


Agu: Bullet is just eating everything, leaves, trees, ground, person. Eating them. Just making person to bleed everywhere. We are just like wild animals now, with no place to be going. Sun, why are you shining at this world? I am wanting to catch you in my hands, to squeeze you until you can not shine no more. That way, everything is always dark and nobody's ever having to see all the terrible things that are happening here.

1 comment :

  1. I've been wanting to see this for so long. I'm definitely going to have to watch it soon.