You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe


Movie Review

Grim ‘War Witch’ foresees some hope

The opening moments of “War Witch” plunge us straight into the inferno. A band of rebel soldiers assaults a remote village in central Africa, searching for child conscripts for their army. They grab a 12-year-old named Komona (Rachel Mwanza), stick a rifle in her hands, and order her to kill her parents. If she refuses, they’ll do the job with machetes. The girl’s father gazes at her and silently gives his permission.

Where can a movie go that begins with a trauma this all-consuming and a loss this complete? “War Witch” deals with a reality so horrific that the film’s touches of magical realism are welcome, even necessary — the only way to retain one’s bearings and sanity in a world without signposts. Originally titled “Rebelle” (director Kim Nguyen is based in Montreal and the film was Canada’s foreign-language Oscar nominee this year), the movie is grim yet clear-eyed, and it seeks out glimmers of hope in individual resilience and in the connections that bind us together.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week