Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
If You've Been Waiting for It to Get There, 'Half of a Yellow Sun' Is Now Streaming on Netflix If You've Been Waiting for It to Get There, 'Half of a Yellow Sun' Is Now Streaming on Netflix Premiering Tonight at 10pm: 2-Part Documentary 'Freeway: Crack in the System' on Al Jazeera America (Trailer) Premiering Tonight at 10pm: 2-Part Documentary 'Freeway: Crack in the System' on Al Jazeera America (Trailer) Trailer for Animated Feature Film Inspired by True Story of Afro-Arab Slave Who Became "Voice of Islam" Trailer for Animated Feature Film Inspired by True Story of Afro-Arab Slave Who Became "Voice of Islam" Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge to Star in Scripted TV Series Based on the Underground Railroad Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge to Star in Scripted TV Series Based on the Underground Railroad Mo'Nique Said She Was Paid $50,000 for 'Precious' + Responds to Lee Daniels "Play the Game" Advice (Video) Mo'Nique Said She Was Paid $50,000 for 'Precious' + Responds to Lee Daniels "Play the Game" Advice (Video) 'Cooley High' Writer and Cast Reflect on the Film 40 Years Later 'Cooley High' Writer and Cast Reflect on the Film 40 Years Later Attn. Actors: African American & Latino Men & Women Sought for Major Roles in Baz Luhrmann's Netflix Drama Series Attn. Actors: African American & Latino Men & Women Sought for Major Roles in Baz Luhrmann's Netflix Drama Series So What’s Byron Allen's $20 Billion Lawsuit Against Comcast, Time Warner, Al Sharpton & the NAACP all About? So What’s Byron Allen's $20 Billion Lawsuit Against Comcast, Time Warner, Al Sharpton & the NAACP all About? Nick Cannon Gets Behind New Live-Action Musical Series, 'Make It Pop,' for Upcoming TV Season Nick Cannon Gets Behind New Live-Action Musical Series, 'Make It Pop,' for Upcoming TV Season A New Edition Biopic Might Be Coming to a Theater Near You If This Fan-Made Trailer Goes Viral A New Edition Biopic Might Be Coming to a Theater Near You If This Fan-Made Trailer Goes Viral HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship Black Actors Are in Demand: Aunjanue Ellis Books Female Lead Role in ABC's FBI Drama-Thriller 'Quantico' Black Actors Are in Demand: Aunjanue Ellis Books Female Lead Role in ABC's FBI Drama-Thriller 'Quantico' MSNBC is Changing Its Tune and Rev Al Is Getting Bumped MSNBC is Changing Its Tune and Rev Al Is Getting Bumped Films & TV Series That Are Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library Next Month (March) Films & TV Series That Are Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library Next Month (March) Check Out These Photos of Mo'Nique, Queen Latifah, Khandi Alexander & Michael K. WIlliams From HBO's Bessie Smith Bio + Premiere Date Set Check Out These Photos of Mo'Nique, Queen Latifah, Khandi Alexander & Michael K. WIlliams From HBO's Bessie Smith Bio + Premiere Date Set Here's the Story That the Denzel Washington/Antoine Fuqua 'Magnificent Seven' Remake Will Tell Here's the Story That the Denzel Washington/Antoine Fuqua 'Magnificent Seven' Remake Will Tell Watch Footage From Marlon Wayans' Richard Pryor Audition Tape Watch Footage From Marlon Wayans' Richard Pryor Audition Tape Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

"War Witch" Director Kim Nguyen Talks Film's Magic Themes, Politics and Child Soldiers

Shadow and Act By Vanessa Martinez | Shadow and Act May 17, 2012 at 6:55PM

Here's are some interesting excerpts from a Filmmaker Mag interview with French-Canadian filmmaker Kim Nguyen, the helmer of War Witch, which premiered at the Berlinale International Film Festival. Tambay wrote a review of War Witch after its screening at the Tribeca Film Festival last month; if you haven't read it, see his review HERE, where he calls it "a poignant work, filled with strong, captivating images, and wonderfully naturalistic performances (especially from star Rachel Mwanza). 
1
war witch

Here's are some interesting excerpts from a Filmmaker Mag interview with French-Canadian filmmaker Kim Nguyen, the helmer of War Witch, which premiered at the Berlinale International Film Festival. Tambay wrote a review of War Witch after its screening at the Tribeca Film Festival last month; if you haven't read it, see his review HERE, where he calls it "a poignant work, filled with strong, captivating images, and wonderfully naturalistic performances (especially from star Rachel Mwanza). 

Congolese newcomer Rachel Mwanza won Berlinale's "Best Actress" Award for her performance as young girl who is kidnapped from her village and becomes a child soldier. Director Nguyen says he worked on the script for 10 years. He chose a particular style of filmmaking influenced by Andrea Arnold's British film Fish Tank; the script is not shown to the actors, and the scenes are shot chronologically, therefore encouraging more naturalistic and visceral perfomances from the actors. 

When we previously profiled the film on the site, there was a concern from a white filmmaker's perspective of life in Africa, especially regarding this sensitive and controversial subject. Nguyen shed light on how he was able comprehend the African environment and politics.

Nguyen said, "Magic is omnipresent in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is very surprising for us Westerners. I do not want to generalize Africa but of what I saw of the DRC, there is an omnipresent, daily interaction with magic, with spirituality. It has its good sides and its bad sides. There’s also a part of manipulation. Politics is much influenced by magic. It’s a way of handling crowds."

Here's what Nguyen says about meeting the child soldiers for the film:

I met and I spoke with ex-child soldiers who were in a remote area in Burundi. One tends to have a sort of monolithic code about child soldiers but the trauma of these children, what they went through, their various personalities, is as vast as in the normal life. Some recover much better than others. Each child soldier is different. It’s very complex.

On coming up with the idea of ghosts that the main character sees:

One of the problems [of shooting this] was how one testifies on the screen to the state of mind of these children. I saw films which were “objective.” But their story was written in the third person, they did not give the perspective of the child soldier. I wanted to make a film which talked from the point of view of the `I’, even if formally that will be stylized at certain times. For example, when the child soldiers kills, there is a whole system operated by the commanders, the armies of rebels, to soften the violence, to make it acceptable and even “satisfying.” I decided to represent that by the fact that the people whom these children kill die, but one never sees them dying with the red blood rushing on the ground. We see ghosts.

 And here's what he had to say regarding the love between two child soldiers who suffer from post-traumatic stress, and whether true love could really surface:

That’s the point of view that I chose. The public can, of course, question it. What I found out in my research is that there is a bipolarity within the child soldier. His familial bonds are killed so that he is rejected by his roots. One makes him commit horrible acts to that effect. But they remain children. Often for these child soldiers who live years in armies of rebels, the moment of rupture, the initial cataclysm is often a place where emotional maturity remains. Either they inwardly shut down or they play football with friends and the attachment to the friends remains. There is a distance with those that they kill but the close friends stay. But at the same time, because they have a Kalashnikov they could kill their friends without additional justification. There is really a bipolarity in the personality of child soldiers.

Click HERE to read the full interview.

Here's the trailer:

This article is related to: Quote


Shadow & ActNewsletter