Watch beasts of no nation free

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Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala

The harrowing, utterly original debut novel by Uzodinma Iweala about the life of a child soldier in a war-torn African country—now a critically-acclaimed Netflix original film directed by Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) and starring Idris Elba (Mandela, The Wire).

As civil war rages in an unnamed West-African nation, Agu, the school-aged protagonist of this stunning debut novel, is recruited into a unit of guerilla fighters. Haunted by his father’s own death at the hands of militants, which he fled just before witnessing, Agu is vulnerable to the dangerous yet paternal nature of his new commander.

While the war rages on, Agu becomes increasingly divorced from the life he had known before the conflict started—a life of school friends, church services, and time with his family, still intact. As he vividly recalls these sunnier times, his daily reality continues to spin further downward into inexplicable brutality, primal fear, and loss of selfhood. In a powerful, strikingly original voice, Uzodinma Iweala leads the reader through the random travels, betrayals, and violence that mark Agu’s new community. Electrifying and engrossing, Beasts of No Nation announces the arrival of an extraordinary new writer.
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Published 10.03.2019

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Uzodinma Iweala

How ‘Beasts of No Nation’ Almost Killed Cary Fukunaga

This film, premiering at the Venice film festival , is his best film yet. Fukunaga brings flair, muscular storytelling, directness and a persuasively epic sweep to this brutal, heartrending movie about child soldiers and a civil war in an imaginary West African country, based on the novel by Nigerian-American author Uzodinma Iweala. Idris Elba gives an outstanding performance as a charismatic and sinister warlord who finds that military power, however intoxicating, is subject to the fickle imperatives of politics, and the suit-wearing opportunists in the cities far from the country badlands he has come to rule. Newcomer Abraham Attah plays Agu, a nine-year-old boy whose village stands in a UN-regulated buffer zone adjoining a warring neighbouring state: his father, a teacher, has given some family-owned land to help house the refugees, a gesture that has alienated some in the community. His family falls prey to swaggering, trigger-happy soldiers and Agu runs, terrified, for his life, where he is taken up by a factional rebel unit in the jungle, led by the imperious Commandant Elba , who in his enigmatic and unpleasant way, has taken a shine to little Agu and, instead of having him killed, decrees that he will be trained as a child soldier in his battalion. These soldiers, dead-eyed and obedient to the Commandant, vary in age from kids to teens and early twenties, but they are all clearly feral and scary as children who have been given guns and trained to obey a father-figure at an impressionable stage. Agu has to surrender both his childhood and his humanity and become a monster of violence.

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The line between innocence and evil is thinner than the blade of a machete. Agu is numbed by horror and hardened by the brutality he has witnessed and perpetrated. Needless to say, this is not easy viewing, though Mr. He has a knack for balancing visual impact with dramatic understatement. Seeing it for the first time on a big screen, I was caught up in the chaos of combat and the feverish pace of the story. But the second time, in the quiet of my house, I was struck by the hallucinatory, fairy-tale quality of some of the images and also by the sense that I was watching a character study rather than a topical drama.

A startling debut. The acute characterization, the adroit mixture of color and restraint, and the horrific emotional force of the narrative are impressive. This points to a large issue within development: are the interventions developed by iNGOs consensual? In order to for the international development community to transform its work to allow for consensual relationships and partnerships, we must unpack and understand our own individual power, privilege, and oppression, to be able to shift towards more equitable structures and practices at the institutional level. Breakfast and coffee will be available beginning at am and we will provide a networking opportunity at am, immediately following the discussion. What is the appropriate role for the bank in middle- and upper-middle-income countries? What does MDB cooperation look like, and is there a meaningful division of labor that could prevail within the system?

B easts of No Nation is the first foray into feature film production by the video streaming company Netflix. The film was shot on location in the jungles of Ghana during monsoon season, where resources were scarce and floodwaters wreaked havoc with the sets. Over the five-week shoot, crew members were held at gunpoint, extras were imprisoned, the director caught malaria and the star fell off a cliff. The big screen suits it well. The director is Cary Joji Fukunaga , whose most recent project was the first season of True Detective — a sweltering eight-hour film noir, cunningly disguised as television — and this shows no less ambition or verve. One day, suddenly and sickeningly, he's orphaned in a random militia attack on his village. And for no apparent reason: the details and aims of the conflict are left pointedly indistinct.

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