Fight Like Soldiers Die Like Children HotDocs13 Review

Posted 4 years ago by myetvmedia

Fight Like Soldiers Die Like Children

Produced and directed by Patrick Reed (Shake Hands With The Devil), Fight Like Soldiers Die Like Children chronicles former UN Lieutenant General Romeo Dallaire’s campaign to end the use of child soldiers in Africa. The film follows Dallaire’s return to the DR Congo, Rwanda and Southern Sudan, as he meets with current and former rebel militia leaders, ex-child soldiers, and members of the UN Demobilization Unit (a division of the UN responsible for recovering and reintegrating ex-child soldiers).

Photo courtesy of White Pine Pictures

Sadly Fight Like Soldiers Die Like Children fell far short of my expectations. Possibly the film’s greatest failure is its inability to evoke an emotional response from the viewer. Instead, the nature of their interviews and coverage has the opposite effect, manifesting apathy rather than outrage or passion. In addition, Dallaire’s crusade—while noble—appears to have little traction. Rather, we seem to be along for a journey of reminiscence: revisiting locations of significance from the Rwandan genocide, recounting old war stories, and ride-alongs on UN demobilization missions.

Photo courtsey of White Pine Pictures

What stands out most prominently in the film is the lack of direction in Dallaire’s campaign. His objective is to eradicate the use of children as instruments of war in Africa, but apart from attacking the problem on a case-by-case basis, Dallaire does not appear to know how to accomplish this. The factors contributing to the problem are broad and varying: demographics, employment, corruption, conflict and the absence of infrastructure. No possible solutions are brought forth by either Dallaire or the filmmakers.

Photo courtsey of White Pine Pictures

Two highlights of Fight Like Soldiers Die Like Children include Dallaire’s conversation with Mass Walimba, an ex-Militia Comander who formerly used child soldiers but now works as a demobilization agent for the UN, and an interview with a villager who successfully rescued two of his children from the LRA.

Despite its interesting moments, Fight Like Soldiers Die Like Children leaves the viewer uninspired and wondering if Dallaire’s skill set would be better suited to a different cause.


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Fight Like Soldiers Die Like Children HotDocs13 Review

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Fight Like Soldiers Die Like Children

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