Saw my first TIFF film ever, and what an experience. We saw the second showing of Beasts of No Nation, which is a Netflix original film starring Idris Elba and introducing Abraham Attah (he deserves all the awards). Beasts of No Nation is an adaptation of Uzodinma Iweala’s book published in 2005.
In sum, this is about a civil war in an unnamed African country. It centres on the experiences of Agu, whose life transforms drastically. At the start of the film we see this happy child using his imagination, support from his father and mother, and love for life. His town later becomes unprotected from the military, ensuing complications for Agu: he finds himself recruited as a child soldier.
Going into the movie, I was unsure how much gore would be shown. Compared to my initial thoughts, there were not as many scenes that were uneasy; much of it was tame or insinuated. I would say there are three points during the film that are difficult to watch. Nevertheless, by making you uncomfortable it allows you to reflect.
I hope to see Oscar wins for this film. Abraham Attah – who is only 14 – is remarkable. It is astonishing that this is his first film as he is able to display a range of emotions on demand.
Beasts of No Nation will be available on Netflix on October 16th, and will be featured in select theatres.