Komona (Rachel Mwanza) is only 12 years old when she is kidnapped by rebel soldiers and enslaved to a life of guerrilla warfare in the African jungle. Forced to commit unspeakable acts of brutality, she finds hope for survival in protective, ghost-like visions and in a tender relationship with a fellow soldier named Magician (Serge Kanyinda). Together, they manage to escape the rebels’ clutches, but their freedom proves short-lived. Komona then decides she must make amends with her past. [Tribeca Film]… Expand









Film information

Genre: ,
Release date: Mar 1, 2013
Movie Reviews:
  • 90
    Los Angeles Times - by Kenneth Turan
    The powerful things we expect from War Witch are as advertised, but what we don't expect is even better. more

  • 90
    The New York Times - by Stephen Holden
    Superstition, witchcraft, exorcism, talismans that ward off evil: in this land of the supernatural, irrationality prevails. But War Witch is so cleareyed that it makes you wonder how much more irrational this world is than the so-called civilized one under its camouflage of material wealth. ...

  • 88
    New York Post - by V.A. Musetto
    Brutality and tenderness are a potent mix in War Witch. more

  • 83
    Christian Science Monitor - by Peter Rainer
    War Witch is most effective not when we are looking in on Komona but when we are inside her head. When she says that, in order to survive in the rebel camp, she “had to learn to make the tears go inside my eyes,” our identification with her is total. more

  • 83 - by Jordan Hoffman
    It does a marvelous job at giving us an impressionistic taste of horrific circumstances without using them to beat us into submission. more

  • 80
    Time Out New York - by Sam Adams
    The film’s subject is almost too horrible to contemplate, but it finds a way to space out the blows without softening them. more

  • 80
    Variety - by Leslie Felperin
    Along with the moral lesson, Nguyen remembers to give auds some pleasures, including the exquisitely chosen soundtrack of African folk and pop music, Nicolas Bolduc's cinematography and the very artful use of sound throughout. ...

  • 75
    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) - by Guy Dixon
    So is this a Western take on Africa? Yes, but Rebelle is full of such careful detail, and is carried so beautifully by Mwanza’s performance, that questions of authenticity slide away. more

  • 70
    The Hollywood Reporter - by Deborah Young
    Managing to be neither sentimental nor sensationalistic, the film tells its story from the heart, and from the simple, straightforward viewpoint of young heroine Komona, warmly played by the talented Rachel Mwanza in her screen debut. more

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User Comments & Reviews

  1. skifisher68

    this is a great film, and im guessing as true to life as possible, ….most of us in the western world have no idea of what its like in some of these 3rd world areas and should be more thankful for what we have got instead of complaining about everything 8/10

  2. GrimFandango

    This was a pretty good movie yet true and sad it’s totally worth the watch though.

  3. zapater

    As true to life as you can get it… a war torn African country the tragic survival of a toughened tender youth….great,great movie,deserving an Oscar.

  4. SteveDenver

    This is an amazing film, gritty and non-judgmental — which is a real feat considering it deals with war and the story of a child soldier. It’s Oscar-nominated this year and worth seeing. Most of the cast are first-timers, but performances are uniformly powerful.

  5. ch3rubrock

    intense powerful film. must see 7.5/10