Without a doubt, the most traumatic experiences of conflict and war are lived by boys and girls. Human rights organizations claim that more than 3 million lives have been claimed since the 1990s in Angola, Congo, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The children, the victims and at the same time the "soldiers" forced and trained to commit the most heinous crimes and sow terror. "Ezra," a film by Nigerian filmmaker Newton I. This fictional feature denouncing the use of children as weapons of destruction, opens in France this week.
Ezra is a young ex-combatant from Sierra Leone struggling to find a way back to normal life after the war. His daily life is divided between a psychological rehabilitation center and a national reconciliation court organized by the UN.
In full rehabilitation, Ezra has to face his sister in a trial that accuses him of the murder of his own parents. Ezra cannot remember what he allegedly did under the influence of drugs, alcohol and violence, and so he denies doing it. Should he admit the horror and apologize to his sister and his community? Who really murdered their parents? What is shown in the movie about the ability of adults to do with a child what they want is something chilling. It portrays the impotence, the inability that children have to defend themselves. It addresses the experiences of children who live conflictive and violent realities, and their abandonment, their lack of support, their neglect in terms of their psychological reconstruction. Children who experience traumatic situations are often seen more as responsible than as victims. Is this all fair? It seems to me appropriate that the issue of the use of children as soldiers, as weapons in wars, of children who suffer abuse of all kinds, continue to be debated and discussed. In "Ezra" there are no heroes, no adventures, no bloodshed, what it does is allow us to enter the interior of the protagonist and see the child that, despite everything, carries inside and that needs to be recovered and rebuilt although in your exterior continue to force you to be older. That reminds us of cases, makes us understand and open our eyes to many other realities in our society.
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