The Murderous Innocents 1

I remember the first time I saw the movie ‘Hotel Rwanda’. I was shocked to the marrow and prayed that such genocide would not happen in Nigeria (Though we’ve had similarly close cases already!). Then I saw ‘Sometimes in April’ which was far more horrific than ‘Hotel Rwanda’ and I almost wept as I imagined these terrible things happening to people in Africa.

 

The first ever of such movies I saw was ‘The Rise and Fall of Idi Amin’, a movie so real in its depiction that rumors were rife amongst we ignorant ones that it was real life being documented.
‘Blood Diamond exposed the brutal shedding of blood and war by greedy folks all because of diamonds. The ‘Long sleeve or short sleeve’ scene scared my thoughts vividly.

 

‘Lord of War’ showcased how weapons were illegally sold to African Rebels to help them gain ground over the war. I can never forget the credit opening scene which followed the process of a bullet being manufactured up to the point it ends up being fired into the skull of a child.

More movies everyday depicting the horrors of civil wars and genocides in Africa have been made but I came across a movie with a shocking and very different perspective recently that made me go looking for facts.

I’m talking of Jean-Stephane Sauvaire’s 2008 movie, ‘Johnny Mad Dog’



The movie was extracted from a book by the same tile, written by Emmanuel Dongala, a Congo citizen who fled the country in 1997 during its civil war and now lives in western Massachusetts.
The film focuses on a group of child soldier commandos, led by 15 year old Johnny, who are part of a Rebel faction bent on seizing control of war-torn Congo. They rob, pillage and slay everything in their path and bear names like No Good Advice, Small Devil, Jungle Rocket, and Young Major.



At the same time we also follow the story of Laokolé, also the same age, who simply wants to finish high school and become an engineer. She tries to escape her war torn country with her little brother Fofo, 8 and in the process crosses paths with Johnny as the story progresses.




The acting of the children in this movie was so realistic that I went online on a fact finding mission as to how Jean-Stephane Sauvaire achieved this. I discovered that the kids were actually former child soldiers from the Liberian civil war. They didn’t need to be actors; all they had to do was act what they did during the war. The location shoot was actually in Liberia which had a lot of war torn areas that were apt for the scenes.



To imagine kids like this fighting in the war terrified me; they were younger, had more energy than adults, that apart from being introduced to all manner of drugs and ‘jazz’ to enhance their performance, and they were very deadly as shown by the bloodthirsty No good advice, Johnny’s second in command.

My mind wandered further. How on earth did child soldiers come into existence? Almost, if not every war in Africa has had the factor of kid soldiers being recruited to fight in the war. Is it the poverty level or some other third world factor that makes this happen? I went a-searching and I found shocking results…

To be continued... 

14 Screamer(s):

2cute4u said...

This is one movie I must try and see, I really thought long and hard after I read through your post and it got me thinking.
Apart from some places in South America where Child militancy occurs, its like what most power hungry hoodlums resort to and when they do so, there stops to be the rules to a fair fight.
When Congo was at war,and children were being recruited,any refusal from the kids brought and immediate punishment of his/her hand or leg being cut off.
I'm still so sad reading this and must see the remaining two of the movies, this weekend.
Great post.Looking forward to the concluding part.

Jaycee said...

My theory is that child soldiers are forced into doing this because of the lack of adult soldiers. You found shocking results? Something tells me that the truth will be devastating.

jhazmyn said...

I'm going to have to wait till part two before i comment....even though like Jaycee said, i think it would be devastating

Never heard of 'Sometimes in April'.

Well will come back for the continuation to this post.

Hoping all is well with your family and yourself!

Myne Whitman said...

I haven't seen Johnny mad dog but I have read some books by former child soldiers and seen a few documentaries. Heartbreaking.

I look forward the next part.

sosexy said...

Hmmmm, My mind's already disturbed as it is..And this makes it even more so.

histreasure said...

this is a really disturbing trend.. and you've got me anxiously awaiting the part 2

My world said...

I will definately watch this movie...it really sounds like a good interpretation.

aeedeeaee said...

I've seen sometimes in April and hotel Rwanda..Haven't seen Johnny mad dog yet...sure as heck wanna see it after this review...

aeedeeaee said...

BTW I've learnt plenty on your blog today..

Afronuts said...

@2cute4u...you need to see it. If it doesnt shock you, it'll will stay at the back of ur mind.

@Jaycee...you're right. And theres more to it again!

@Jhazmyn...lol. okay!

@Solomonsydelle...You need to see that movie, sis! And thanks, Family is doing very well. How're ur lil ones?

@Myne...You've read books on child soldiers? wow...which ones?

@Sosexy...History can be really this disturbing

@histreasure...stay tuned!

@My world...please do and tell me what u think!

@Aeedeeaee...Glad to hear that. I like sharing knowledge.

Olufunke said...

Interesting...
and very disturbing
I also wonder
Looking forward to the continuing posts.

Enkay said...

I watched johnny mad dog and i kept asking myself, is this a movie or are they recording live events?

The acting was so real and the children did not speak as though they had read their lines off any scripts....

Truly sad, waiting to hear what your findings were.

HA! so idi amin was not true -life? PHEW!thank goddess! Ever since i watched it at the age of 9, i came to HATE any war related films! I avoided watching Hotel Rawanda & Sometime in april & Johnny mad dog though it was among a dvd collection i bought...it is even in my drawer as i write..but fear no let me watch!I watched Lord of war & blood diamond because of the hype around it then...Nevertheless... am soo afraid & pray that this nightmare would go away! What is UN doing about it?