This carefully observed film follows a group of children in the Far North Region of Cameroon as they live their lives under the constant threat of violence from Boko Haram. Gunshots ring out in the distance as they prepare for school, while soldiers patrol the schoolyard as the children play soccer and skip ropes. But despite the troubled texture of their lives and the fact that several of them have lost their parents to terrorist acts, the children’s innocence endures, even as they are recounting terrible things. The result is a delicately rendered antiwar film that celebrates the essential sweetness of children without underplaying the devastating psychological impact of violence.
Munich International Documentary Festival (DOK.fest) (2023) – Nominated: SOS-Kinderdörfer Award: Best Film
Munich International Documentary Festival (DOK.fest) (2023) – Nominated: Viktor Award: DOK.horizons
Rotterdam International Film Festival (2023) – Winner: Tiger Award
The nonfiction film is a clear-eyed look at how everyday life and the accompanying humdrum tasks go on despite the threat of violence at any moment.
The documentary filmmaker places herself at the level of a child, at that altitude where the trivial and the mysterious have something vertiginous. She maintains an off-field of unbearable violence - via shots of soldiers patrolling the edge of the frame or the liberated speech of the kids, suddenly authors of the film. The way they tell, with all the seriousness one can afford at 10 years old, a story about "witches who turn into cats", and whom they would have executed themselves during a raid, opens a terrifying abyss for a whole next generation.