Beasts Of No Nation (2015)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5

USA, 2015.  , , , , , , .  Screenplay by Cary Joji Fukunaga, based on the novel by .  Cinematography by Cary Joji Fukunaga.  Produced by , Cary Joji Fukunaga, , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , .  

A civil war in an unnamed African country makes victims of members of a refugee camp when the place is invaded by government soldiers who accuse its residents of being members of the rebel army. This renders Agu alone in the world, losing his family in an execution that he manages to escape before taking to the wilderness. It is not long before he is snatched up by the rebels, brainwashed by their highly charismatic leader (a terrific Idris Elba) into becoming a little soldier with a big gun.

The loss of innocence and tragedy that befalls those in the world who are denied education and financial stability are pompously put on display, simultaneously with gorgeous widescreen images of Africa’s natural (and conveniently distant) beauty. There are a few moments that hit hard, particularly when Agu, who is played brilliantly by Abraham Attah, is asked to cross lines of cruelty, but for the most part it is moral pandering that demands little challenge and reveals its personalities to be little more than symbols. Rebelle covered much of the same territory, just as shallow though with more atmosphere.

The Criterion Collection:  #1091

Golden Globe Award Nomination:  Best Supporting Actor (Idris Elba)

Screen Actors Guild Award:  Best Supporting Actor (Idris Elba)
Nomination: Outstanding Motion Picture Cast

Toronto International Film Festival:  2015

Venice Film Festival Award:  Marcello Mastroianni Award (Abraham Attah)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s