War Witch

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A harrowing drama laced with moments of exquisite beauty, War Witch unfolds as a bedtime story of sorts — told by a 14-year-old African child soldier to her unborn son. Taken from her village at gunpoint, Komona (played by non-professional actress Rachel Mwanza) is given a rifle and fed hallucinogenic milk that gifts her with the ability to see the ghosts of the fallen. Fighting alongside an albino boy named Magician, she soon comes to understand that her career as “Witch” to the rebel leader will only last as long as their victories. The two set off together, putting their violent past behind them while searching for the white rooster she has demanded as proof of his love. Crafted over a 10-year period, Canadian director Kim Nguyen has interwoven true stories of child soldiers in Burma with footage captured in the Democratic Republic of Congo to create something raw, immediate and emotionally true. (Dir. by Kim Nguyen, 2012, Canada, in French & Lingala with subtitles, 90 mins., Not Rated, Tribeca Films) Digital