Wednesday, November 25, 2015

"Beasts of No Nation"

As I was attending the Telluride Festival in September, one of the hot tickets there was "Beasts of No Nation", directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga.  It's a film about young boys in central African countries being recruited to fight in their rampant civil wars.

Now, this is not the kind of film I'm usually going to rush out and watch.  I prefer wacky comedies, so this subject matter was at the opposite end of my usual entertainment spectrum.

However, I'm glad I saw it - first of all, it is very well made, almost like a documentary.  All the acting, by a mostly amateur cast, is superb.  What realistic performances!

But, similar to the story from "Room", it focuses on a young boy forced into a very dangerous situation by events that are beyond his control.  So you empathize with his terrible situation, as this young black boy is recruited by a rebel colonel and forced to take drugs and murder people. 

Even though it does have a relatively happy ending, the experiences of this young, 11-year old kid create a total horror show.  I hope it gets recognition as the Oscars.  I give it an "A".

--Bill Plympton

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