french films > Johnny Mad Dog

Johnny Mad Dog

Johnny Mad Dog

Johnny Mad Dog

Review score: * * * * *

cast: Daisy Victoria Vandy and Christopher Minie

year: 2009

colour: yes

certificate: 15

director: Jean-Stephane Sauvaire

runtime: 98

Today, in contemporary Africa. Johnny, 15, a kid-soldier armed to the hilt, is inhabited by the mad dog he dreams of becoming. With his small commando – No Good Advice, Small Devil, Young Major – he robs, pillages, and slays everything in his path. Laokolé, 16, pushing her disabled facther around in a rickety wheelbarrow, attempting to invent the glorious future which her brilliant studies seem to have in store for her, strives to flee her city occupied by teenage-soldier militias, with her little brother Fofo, 8. As Johnny advances, Laokolé flees . . . Under the windows of embassies, NGOs, the High Commissionership for Refugees, teenagers fed by Hollywood imagery and disinformation play at war. The militias fight enemies dubbed “Patriots”; the “Dogo-Mayis” want to exterminate the “Mayi-Dogos”; the adolescent warlords call themselves “Giap” or “Rambo” and kill each other over a TV set, a basket of fruit, or a misplaced word. Childhoods cut short, an Africa ravaged by absurd wars, a people who are trying, in spite of it all, to survive and to save their humanity.

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