The issue of African child soldiers often falls under the media’s radar, but one film puts the topic front and center. Directed by Kim NguyenWar Witch follows a young girl kidnapped by rebels and forced to fight for survival in the jungle. The drama won top prizes at the Independent Spirit Awards, the Berlin International Film Festival, and the Tribeca Film Festival, and will soon compete in the Best Foreign Film category at the Oscars. One look at the newly-released US trailer and it’s easy to see why so many honors were bestowed upon it – the footage offers a feast of brutally powerful, beautifully shot images. That it was filmed entirely in the Democratic Republic of the Congo also makes the action all the more chilling.

See the preview below (via Apple):


Komona (Rachel Mwanza) is only 12 years old when she is kidnapped by rebel soldiers and enslaved to a life of guerrilla warfare in the African jungle. Forced to commit unspeakable acts of brutality, she finds hope for survival in protective, ghost-like visions (inspiring a rebel chief to anoint her “War Witch”), and in a tender relationship with a fellow soldier named Magician (Serge Kanyinda). Together, they manage to escape the rebels’ clutches, and a normal life finally seems within reach. But after their freedom proves short-lived, Komona realizes she must find a way to bury the ghosts of her past.

War Witch will be available on iTunes on February 26th, and opens to limited release on March 1st.

Based on the trailer, do you think War Witch will continue its winning streak at the Academy Awards?

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