The first film to be labeled “Netflix Original” broadcast in 2015, “Beasts of no Nation” is an electroshock work, carried high by a terrifying Idris Elba as a warlord recruiting child soldiers. A must see.
While civil war rages in an unnamed African country, Agu tries by all means to escape his village. However, violence catches up with him and he is enlisted as a child soldier. Under the commander’s orders, he is forced to steal, rape and kill…
If there are films showing child soldiers in Africa, such as in Lord of War or Blood Diamond, very few in truth have made it the heart of their story; like Johnny Mad Dog by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire, which featured a 15-year-old teenager who stole, pillaged and shot down everything that crossed his gang’s path, in a country (Liberia) ravaged by war civil.
First labeled film Netflix Original broadcast in 2015, the platform hit very hard with Beasts of no Nation. Adapted from the first novel by the writer of Nigerian origin Uzodinma Iweala, which relates the murderous drift of a child soldier in an imaginary country in West Africa, the film is signed by the man who at the time had the on the rise since the creation of the True Detective series, Cary Joji Fukunaga, future director of No Time To Die.
Netflix had also poached actor Idris Elba, who became famous since his performance in The Wire. Here, he plays a terrifying character, the commander of Agu. Crooked beret, sunglasses, field jacket open on the chest, he is the man who teaches the kid that killing is like “when you fall in love”.
He plays opposite a formidable Abrahama Attah, who, at the age of 14 and in the leading role, slips with astonishing ease into the clothes of Agu, forced to become a child soldier under the orders of the Commander after the death of his father. The Ghanaian actor’s performance was also praised at the numerous festivals where the film was presented, and he was even rewarded with a prize at the Venice Film Festival in 2015.
A terrible and moving film, whose darkness and violence constitute a hell of an uppercut.