Archive for the ‘LIberia’ Category

Johnny Mad Dog – ***

Posted: November 10, 2013 in 2008, Action, Drama, France, LIberia, War, XXX

On my shelf for quite some time: Johnny Mad Dogthe shocking tale of child soldiers in Africa. It’s a tough movie.  It’s fiction based on reality, but it feels like you are right in a Western African war zone. It doesn’t want to be a documentary, but is SO well done that you feel it IS all real. The most striking thing is that the children who play the child soldiers, were real child soldiers at one time. That’s a very unsettling idea. You see these kids shout out commands with a temper that not even Jack Nicholson could imitate, you see them kill with a rage that no action hero could ever copy. They rape, they abuse seniors, they kill other children and threaten UN soldiers. And it all feels REAL. Because at one time in their life, these kids did similar things.

It’s only after you’ve finished watching the movie and after you start looking up more information about the production that you realize the moviemaking served as some kind of therapy for these kids to come to terms with their past. While watching it, you’ll feel so uncomfortable that you think you’re watching an exploitation movie. But there’s a great making of-feature on the dvd that shows you all about how they did the casting and how they trained these kids for their part in the movie.

The story itself is about a group of kids under the leadership of Johnny Mad Dog and his helper No Good Advice. They need to clear the way for rebel troops and start intimidating villagers and townspeople. There’s more to the story, but it really is about young kids acting like/being adult soldiers. The acting is amazing of course. The kid who plays the main lead is excellent. The kid who plays his helper annoys. He’s great too, but he can’t stop shouting. You just want to take a riffle and kill him yourself. (which is a weird feeling, since these are still kids) And there’s also a young girl, who doesn’t belong to the group, but crosses them a few times, who is fabulous.

Yep. Shocking! Real! Traumatizing.

the whole film is on youtube:

Continued watching a relatively boring documentary about one of the war lords (nicknamed Buttnaked) turned christian preacher. It’s confronting as well. There’s a guy who killed at least 20.000 people and is now heralded as a saint (by some). He’s incredibly clever to become religious I guess.