3 years ago1,000+ Views
You remember what it felt like, to be taken from your home, to be forced to participate in something you did not want to participate in. You wanted to be a kid, you wanted to have a childhood, you wanted to be...
[I don't think I can continue to write from a perspective that knows anything about what it might feel like growing up as a child soldier. I want to be creative and I want to tell a story that's engaging and makes this trailer -- and the existence of this movie -- resonate with you (the reader, not the You that I constantly turn into a character) the way it resonated with me.]
... something better than you are now. You can still remember the look on your father's face as he pleaded and begged for his life. When you sweat, it reminds you of the tears that fell down your face as you watch the man who helped bring you into this world fall to his knees...
[There's something extremely problematic about the way I'm choosing to write this card. I feel an intense uneasiness as I try to pretend that I am writing from the boy's perspective. The boy being Agu (played by Abraham Attah). Sure, the film is fiction but it's depicting events that really occur. I'll never know what that feels like. Watching the trailer gave me the best and worst kind of goosebumps. I was engaged, I was scared, I was terrified. But it's nothing in comparison to the real fear that many actual child soldiers feel in real life. What was my biggest complaint today? I got a mosquito bite on my cheek, that's what it was. But here I am, still pretending I know what it might be like.]
... But you try and forget that. You try and remember that you have a new family now. One that will protect you and one that you will protect. As the days go on, you are unsure if your old family was even a family at all. You follow your "new father" into the battlefield. You would follow him anywhere. He saved your life...
[I'm staring at this draft I have in front of me. And I'm still confused. I know I want to separate myself from the thousands of others who will eventually write about this. But there's something completely self-serving and narcissistic about that. Do I even have the right to write about a movie that's about something so serious, something that is a real problem, into something about myself? I can't even bring myself to watch the trailer a 3rd or 4th time because the images and the visuals are so arresting. Cary Fukunaga's shot selection freezes me in place. At times I want to look away but I can't. And Idris Elba's acting skill shines even though the trailer is so short. These things together put me in a place I can't even write about. And yet, here I am still pretending.]
... There is a part of you that's tired. That wants to go back home. Wherever that may be or whatever that means. You are both physically and mentally tired. Tired of carrying heavy metal that you use to kill other people carrying the same metal. Tired carrying your brothers after someone else hurls metal at them. Tired of losing friends. Tired of losing...
[I might as well leave the draft as just that, a draft. Something to never publish. It's irresponsible of me to think that I have any understanding of what the characters might be feeling. I am so far removed from that world, both geographically and mentally. It is something I'll never understand. And it's something a lot of us don't have the capacity to understand. We'd rather follow the ostrich, stick our heads in the sand and pretend it doesn't exist. But I'm happy this movie exists, it's important to put these kinds of issues into the. I'm happy Netflix bought the rights and is releasing it. It's a hand at the back of our collective necks, pulling us out of the sand, out of our intentional ignorance.]
Beasts of No Nation will be available on Netflix on October 16th, 2015
I do want to see it...but afraid it'll be one of those film that can traumatize me so I'm debating on should I see it.
I hope so too...
I think this is an important movie. I also think the only way people will react honestly to it is if it's presented as a ficitional work. people too readily shy away from actual evidence of stuff like this. but call it a 'story' and not a 'documentary' and they flock to it, then donate money at ritz galas in New York, so they never have to find it real.
Wow, this is an incredible piece on a must-see film. Very thoughtful and engaging. Thanks for sharing this, @paulisaverage
@candyland1986, I feel the same way but I think it's important to try and overcome my fear and watch it anyway, I know that it'll be a rewarding experience regardless.
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