Beasts of No Nation (Netflix)
A young boy named Agu is ripped from his village in an unnamed West African country and forced to serve in a guerrilla army, living in constant fear, at once repulsed by the horrible things he is asked to do and fascinated with the new responsibilities he is forced to bear. Idris Elba gives a memorable performance as the Commandant, who mentors and brutalizes the young men whose lives he controls. Adapted from a 2005 novel by the Nigerian-American author Uzodinma Iweala, Beasts of No Nation was written, shot and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga. Fukunaga’s vision is unflinching, focusing exclusively on African characters, refusing any signs of the white saviorism that so often characterizes western media’s representations of these issues. Netflix released this film simultaneously in theaters and through its own digital platform, producing an experience that was emotionally powerful, whether encountered on screens large or small. For its richly researched, beautifully rendered and uncompromising depiction of child soldiers in the borderlands of West Africa, Beasts of No Nation wins a Peabody Award.
Writer: Cary Joji Fukunaga. Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga. Producers: Amy Kaufman, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Riva Marker, Daniel Crown, Idris Elba. Actors: Abraham Attah, Idris Elba, Kurt Egyiawan, Emmanuel “King Kong” Nii Adom Quaye, Jude Akuwudike.
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