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A word for war mongers at TIFF

WHILE Angelina Jolie continues to wow the audience with new movie, First They Killed My Father, at the ongoing Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), there is a deep reflection for Nigeria and other African countries with regions, asking for restructuring or independence in ways other than dialogue.

The film is another strong representation which follows Best of No Nation’s outing at 2015 TIFF.

Whether for religious or ethnic reason, proponents of war usually hook up to cause that promotes a change by force. This is what happens in First They Killed My Father. However, were like other ethnic or religious wars, innocent people, women and children are more at the receiving end.

Again, like Beast of No Nation, this film relays the undue exposure of kids to violence, first as victims of war, and also as kid soldiers.

But what makes First They Killed My Father super unique is attempt to institute a system of government where everyone is economically equal but with with unequal political powers.

In this new Jolie’s film about Cambodia, she has displayed her passion for a thought-provoking subject, and have showed to fans, once again, a different direction she can take, far away from glamour.

She tells this story about surviving the Khmer Rouge from a family point of view. An adaptation from the memoir by Cambodian activist Loung Ung, First They Killed My Father follows five-year-old Loung, as her family is torn from Phnom Penh to endure a dangerous nomadic life under the Pol Pot regime. The Khmer Rouge forces her through a series of work camps until she’s left to wander the wilderness of her own, bearing witness to relentless persecution that she can only comprehend in bits and pieces.

In the movie, Richard Nixon denies the secret bombing of Cambodia before withdrawing troops and leaving the menacing Khmer Rouge to take charge.

For a war film that may attempt to draw the storyteller into other complex plots, Jolie sticks to that angle that sees Angkar, the Khmer Rouge Lord, shattering a once happy family with a philosophy that enslaves all with equal economic power put rules with draconian laws and administers jungle justice.

First, the people are moved from their homes in a long exodus into the woods. Their personal effects seized, and uniforms made for them. They must look the same and think in like manners. Like Nigeria’s Boko Haram’s ideology, everything western or foreign is forbidden, including orthodox medicine. Those who fall short of these laws pay with their lives, including Loung’s father.

Feudalism, individualism, foreign and possessions are a crime. And every subject is a suspect because the authorities know it is a new and unusual lifestyle. It thus becomes necessary to kill and main to show their seriousness.

“It is better to make a mistake and kill an innocent person than to leave an enemy alive.”

This line from the movie explains how complex the new policy is, to have its subjects as enemies.

Again, everybody is referred to as comrade, to drive in this communal, albeit forced oneness. But all that you see are comrades in self-inflicted anguish.

In First They Killed My Father, foreign education is taboo. “ The soil is your paper, the hoe your pen,” say the leaders to their subjects.

But the unpopular rule is not to last, and the people regain their freedom. But the scare remains, and through this film, Jolie’s has said a word to the different regional groups in Nigeria calling for restructuring in ways other than dialogue.

The post A word for war mongers at TIFF appeared first on The Nation Nigeria.

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This post was syndicated from The Nation Nigeria. Click here to read the full text on the original website.

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