Johnny Mad Dog


Posted December 4, 2009 in Cinema Reviews

DDF 2021 – Desktop

The eponymous Johnny Mad Dog is the teenage leader of an African rebel faction of child soldiers who answer to the war cry, ‘If you don’t want to die, don’t be born’. Such is the extent of his ‘death dealers’ crazed indoctrination that any memories of their former lives have long since been erased. Director Jean-Stephane Sauvaire’s adaptation of Emmanuel Dongala’s novel is a relentlessly visceral depiction of the loss of innocence with vicious scenes of rape and murder as the platoon embark on a series of drug-fuelled, violent rampages. Sauvaire, using actors with actual experience as civil war freedom fighters heightens the tragedy of the situation with brief reminders of their stolen childhoods. His demonstration of the catastrophic effect of implanted ideologies on young impressionable minds may not be ground-breaking but Sauvaire at least tackles this issue from the rarely seen perspective of the perpetrators of brutal crime rather then the unfortunate victims of it.

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