War Witch
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Montreal-based filmmaker Kim Nguyen paints a poignant and harrowing portrait of Komona, a 14-year-old girl (wonderfully played by nonprofessional actress Rachel Mwanza) who has been kidnapped from her African village by rebels to become a child soldier. She escapes from the camp with an older albino soldier and experiences for the very first time the joys of a peaceful and loving life, but a fresh tragedy will force her to confront and fight the ghosts haunting her mind. Although inspired by a real story that took place in Burma, Nguyen decided to film War Witch in the Democratic Republic of… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It may be hard for a viewer to accept some of the paranormal goings-on in War Witch -- the ghosts, the superstitions, the otherworldly powers -- but they're nothing compared to the realities that Komona has to endure."
‑ Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post
"Nguyen brings the harshness of this world alive not with big dramatic flourishes but with an everyday tone that makes it all the more frightening. This is how it is - how else would it be?"
‑ Tom Long, Detroit News
"War Witch doesn't sermonize or propose a solution to its larger problems. It's a portrait of a life. It just so happens that said life is playing out in a living hell."
‑ AP Kryza, Willamette Week
"Being a child soldier is tough to imagine, but Canadian writer-director Kim Nguyen takes on the challenge without many qualms."
‑ Jake Wilson, Sydney Morning Herald
"The picture is far and away most effective in its sequences of quiet lyricism."
‑ Nathan Southern, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Atrocity and beauty somehow co-exist in War Witch."
‑ Bill Stamets, Chicago Sun-Times
"Canadian writer-director Kim Nguyen spent nearly a decade researching this docudrama about child soldiers in Africa, and the film feels as authoritative as a first-hand account."
‑ Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader
"This harrowing film refuses to let up long enough to let you catch your breath."
‑ Jesse Kinos-Goodin, National Post
"Rachel Mwanza's performance is extraordinary and shows great depth for such a young actress."
‑ Daniel Walber, Film School Rejects
"...rich in anthropological specificity, Nguyen's film is unexpectedly sensitive and anchored by some amazing performances."
‑ Richard Haridy, Quickflix
"War Witch gives us a continent's tragedy in a young girl's face."
‑ Ty Burr, Boston Globe
"A haunting take on unspeakably grim subject matter, shot on location in the Democratic Republic of Congo."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"With intelligence and deceptive simplicity, Nguyen injects the discombobulating impact of grief, conflict and PTSD (with the added effects of magic milk), to delve deeper than a simple observed account of a soldier's bid for freedom."
‑ Fiona Williams, sbs.com.au
"The film is a laser-focused fable threatened occasionally by its drifts into character shorthand, but equaled by a wrenching lead performance by Rachel Mwanza that results in one of the finest of the year."
‑ Charlie Schmidlin, The Playlist
"This year's City of God."
‑ James Croot, Flicks.co.nz
More reviews for War Witch on Rotten Tomatoes