A new film, “Johnny Mad Dog”, which won the Prize of Hope at Cannes film festival, was screened this past week at the United Nations – and sponsored by Radhika Coomaraswamy, special representative of the UN Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict. Also attending were Special Court for Sierra Leone prosecutor Steven Rapp, France’s UN Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert, and advocate/rapper Emmanuel Jal.
two teens trying to survive civil war in an unnamed African country. In an interview with AFP, [director] Sauvaire conceded that his film was violent, but said that the gun-toting youngsters in the film, all war veterans, were not traumatized by the experience and rather found acting therapeutic.
Here’s a clip from YouTube.
And a review from Jonathan Romney of Screen Daily:
Cinema is forever inventing new ways to tell us that war is hell, but few recent films have explored the extremes of that hell as vividly or intrepidly as Jean-Stephane Sauvaire’s African drama Johnny Mad Dog. Shattering performances by unknowns, many of them actually former child soldiers, plus a confrontational directing style make this one of the most striking recent French fiction debuts.
Check out this 2005 interview on NPR with Emmanuel Dongala about his novel.