I Declare War

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Armed with nothing more than twigs, their imaginations and a simple set of rules, a group of 12-year-olds engaged in a lively game of Capture the Flag in the neighborhood woods start dangerously blurring the lines between make-believe and reality. Rocks = Grenades. Trees = Control towers. Sticks = Submachine guns. The youthful innocence of the game gradually takes on a different tone as the quest for victory pushes the boundaries of friendship. The would-be warriors get a searing glimpse of humanity’s dark side as their combat scenario takes them beyond the rules of the game and into an adventure where fantasy combat clashes with the real world. Utilizing a cast of extremely talented child actors, the film contains very real depictions of bullying, teenage crushes and fickle friendships, making the movie as much about adolescence as it is about warfare. Winner of the Audience Award at Fantastic Fest 2012, I Declare War is a one-of-a-kind action pic shot through with echoes of Stand by Me, Goonies and Lord of the Flies. (Dir. by Jason Lapeyre, 2013, USA, 94 mins., Not Rated, Drafthouse Films) Digital