While there have been many films made about the child soldiers in Africa, none have come close to being as emotionally resonant as Kim Nguyen's War Witch. War Witch tells the story of Komona a 12-year old girl who is forced to gun down her own parents after being abducted into the rebel army. We follow Komona's tragic life over a two year period, as she narrates the film to her unborn child growing inside her. War Witch is an incredibly intimate look into the life of a child soldier, showing a strong amount of detail into every aspect of her life. The film isn't concerned about the politics of the Africa but rather the innocent people stuck in-between. Shot with a gritty realism, the direction makes sure to capture the smallest details in showing the horror which surrounds young Komona. War Witch really captures the absolute lack of law or control which plagues parts of Africa to the point where I never felt that any of the protagonists were safe. This absolute lack of control is startling to experience on screen, leaving the viewer simply hoping for the best. Mysticism also plays a major part in War Witch, showing how the African's spiritual culture can be used as a fear tactic, with the leader of the rebels - Great Tiger, or simply as a means to find peace. While done subtlety, it is clear that Komona feels responsible for her parents death and this guilt is manifested in the ghost of her parents who constantly haunt her. As I'm sure you can imagine, War Witch is not an easy film to watch as we see the mental and physical effects on this poor young girl. The ending though perfectly wraps the film up, showing a random act of kindness which offers the viewer a slight glimmer of hope for young Komona.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.