Sunday, 17 April 2011

I don't want your gift

Johnny Mad Dog (2008)
Chosen by The Quad Cinema in Derby kinda. We won their monthly film quiz and this was one of the prizes.

This had passed me by when it came out, despite appearance at Cannes, controversial subject matter and being produced by Mathieu Kassovitz. But I can only imagine that every single review mentioned the word 'brutal' and probably 'uncompromising'.
It is a harsh watch, even if with adults in the roles but with children between 10 and 15 it hammers home the horrific nature of the Liberian Civil War even if never coming to grips with how this happened (deliberately so, at one point the kids think a speech by Martin Luthor King is from the President, they are as ignorant as to what they are fighting for as I am).
It has a rough, loose structure, never really cohering into anything more than a series of unconnected incidents but has a horrid realism to it that is strangely both exploitative and redemptive (a lot of the actors were child soldiers themselves in the war, and trained how to act for film).

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