Beasts of No Nation (movie)


Beasts of No Nation is a 2015 American War drama film written, co-produced and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga , who acted as his own cinematographer, about a young boy who becomes a child soldier as his country goes through a horrific war. Shot in Ghana and starring Idris Elba , Abraham Attah , Ama K. Abebrese , Grace Nortey David Dontoh, and Opeyemi Fagbohungbe, the movie is based on the 2005 novel of the Sámi name by Uzodinma Iweala [4] – the book named Itself being white After a Fela Kuti album .

It was screened in the main competition of the Venice International Film Festival , [5] [6] where it won the Marcello Mastroianni Award . [7]

The film was shown in the Special Presentation of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival , [8] and released on Netflix globally and in a limited release by Bleecker Street on October 16, 2015. [9]

Plot

A civil war is breaking out in an unspecified West African country. A young boy, Agu, lives in a small village with his parents, older brother, and two younger siblings. Agu’s village is located within a “buffer zone” enforced by ECOMOG troops. Agu’s father is a local leader, and aids refugees from the surrounding areas by letting them stay on his land.

The village is informed that the government has fallen, with military-aligned rebels seizing control of the country. With rebel forces headed towards the village, many people flee to the country’s capital for safety. Agu ‘s father is a young man and a young child. Rebel and government forces in Agu’s village. While the rebel soldiers flee, government forces round up the remaining villagers and accuse them of rebellion. As they are about to be executed, Agu’s father tells his sons to run shortly before getting shot.

The two boys try to escape, but Agu’s brother is killed. Agu evades capture and escapes into the jungle. After wandering for an unspecified amount of time, he is caught up in a guerrilla skirmish. The NDF, a rising rebel faction in the country, adopted Agu into their ranks. Agu’s battalion is led by the Commandant, who takes Agu under his wing. After undergoing a brutal initiation process, Agu becomes a fully-fledged member of the militia.

Agu befriends another young NDF child soldier , Strika, who never speaks. One night, the Commander summons Agu to his quarters, and rapes him. Strika, another of the Commandant’s rape victims, comforts him. Preacher, an older soldier, gives Agu brown-brown to lift his mood. Agu and Strika take part in a number of bloody battles and ambushes. The battalion’s success in the taking of several towns, killings of men, women and children, gains them a summons to the rebel HQ, where the Commander, accompanied by Agu, Strika, and a few other members of the battalion, go to meet With the NDF leader. They spend an entire night in the waiting area, infuriating the Commander. When they finally meet the Supreme Commander, he informs the Commander that he is not being promoted, As he had expected, and is in fact being removed from command. The Commandant’s lieutenant will take control of the battalion, and the Commander will be given a position under the rebel leader. The Commandant views this as an insult, and leaves to “celebrate” his lieutenant’s promotion at a brothel. While the soldiers (except for Agu and Strika) spend the night with the brothl’s women, one of the women shoots the lieutenant. The lieutenant is badly wounded and the Commandant accuses the prostitute of trying to kill the Lieutenant. The prostitute pleads with the Commandant and says she shot the lieutenant by accident, but the Commandant and his men shoot the women and leave the city with the battalion. And the Commander will be given a position under the rebel leader. The Commandant views this as an insult, and leaves to “celebrate” his lieutenant’s promotion at a brothel. While the soldiers (except for Agu and Strika) spend the night with the brothl’s women, one of the women shoots the lieutenant. The lieutenant is badly wounded and the Commandant accuses the prostitute of trying to kill the Lieutenant. The prostitute pleads with the Commandant and says she shot the lieutenant by accident, but the Commandant and his men shoot the women and leave the city with the battalion. And the Commander will be given a position under the rebel leader. The Commandant views this as an insult, and leaves to “celebrate” his lieutenant’s promotion at a brothel. While the soldiers (except for Agu and Strika) spend the night with the brothl’s women, one of the women shoots the lieutenant. The lieutenant is badly wounded and the Commandant accuses the prostitute of trying to kill the Lieutenant. The prostitute pleads with the Commandant and says she shot the lieutenant by accident, but the Commandant and his men shoot the women and leave the city with the battalion. While the soldiers (except for Agu and Strika) spend the night with the brothl’s women, one of the women shoots the lieutenant. The lieutenant is badly wounded and the Commandant accuses the prostitute of trying to kill the Lieutenant. The prostitute pleads with the Commandant and says she shot the lieutenant by accident, but the Commandant and his men shoot the women and leave the city with the battalion. While the soldiers (except for Agu and Strika) spend the night with the brothl’s women, one of the women shoots the lieutenant. The lieutenant is badly wounded and the Commandant accuses the prostitute of trying to kill the Lieutenant. The prostitute pleads with the Commandant and says she shot the lieutenant by accident, but the Commandant and his men shoot the women and leave the city with the battalion.

Now on the run from their own faction, as well as the UN and government forces, the battalion suffers heavy losses. Airstrikes and supply shortages kill many of them, with Strika being killed by a gunshot during an ambush. The remaining members of the battalion take shelter at a gold mine for several months, hoping to find gold for pay for supplies. Ammunition runs out, leaving the group with no way to defend themselves from encroaching enemy forces. Agu informs the Commandant of this, and he tells Agu that he must take care of him, as all sons must protect their fathers. As they speak, Preacher, now the new lieutenant, rallies the soldiers to abandon their posts and surrender to the UN, as they will surely starve or be killed if they stay. The Commandant at first refuses to let them go, but when Agu says they should surrender. The soldiers all depart, leaving the raving Commander alone. Shortly after, they are detained by a troops. The younger members of the battalion are sent to a missionary school in a safe part of the country. Agu stays away from the other children, who play games and enjoy the comfort and safety of the school. Agu is tormented by what has happened, and has nightmares about it.

After much time has passed, Agu tells the school’s counselor that he has done some terrible things but he will not go into detail. He is afraid the counselor will think he is some kind of “beast.” Instead he tells how he used to be a good boy, from a good family, and that his family had loved him. The final scene shows Agu finally joining the other boys as they swim and play in the ocean.

Cast

  • Abraham Attah as Agu
  • Idris Elba as Commandant
  • Ama K. Abebrese as Mother [10]
  • Kobina Amissa-Sam as Father [10]
  • Emmanuel Nii Adom Quaye as Strika
  • Kurt Egyiawan as 2nd IC
  • Jude Akuwudike as Dada Goodblood
  • Grace Nortey [10] as Old Witch Woman
  • David Dontoh as Linguist [10]
  • Opeyemi Fagbohungbe as Sergeant Gas [11]
  • Teibu Owusu Acheampong as Preacher [10]

Production

Cary Fukunaga directed his own script, after having worked on it for seven years. [4] It was not until after six years of research on the Sierra Leone Civil War that Fukunaga came across the Beasts of No Nation novel. He told Creative Screenwriting , “I read through the novel and I loved the elegant and concise way that Uzodinma Iweala told the story. I felt that would be the best way to enter the subject.” [12]

On August 20, 2013, Idris Elba joined the cast of the film adaptation. [4] On June 6, 2014, Ghanaian actors Ama K. Abebrese , Grace Nortey and David Dontoh joined the film. [10] Later, Opeyemi Fagbohungbe also joined the cast. [11]

Red Crown Productions was the financier and producer, along with Primary Productions and Parliament of Owls. [4] On May 17, 2014, Participant Media , along with Mammoth Entertainment, came on board to co-finance the film, initially budgeted at $ 4.3 million which ultimately cost about $ 6 million. [2]

On June 5, 2014, the main photography was underway in the Eastern Region of Ghana . [10] [13] [14] The film was shot at locations in Koforidua and Ezile Bay at Akwidaa. [15] Dan Romer scored the film. [16]

Release

Netflix bought the worldwide distribution rights for around $ 12 million. The film was simultaneously released theatrically and online via its subscription video on demand service on October 16, 2015, [17] with Bleecker Street handling the theatrical release. [18] Considering the online release a violation of the traditional 90-day release window of exclusivity to theaters, AMC Cinemas , Carmike Cinemas , Cinemark , and Regal Entertainment Group -Four of the Largest theater chains in the United States-annoncé That They Would Boycott Beasts of No Nation , Effectively downgrading it to a limited release at smaller and independent theaters. [9] [19] The film was also theatrically released in the UK on October 16, 2015, in Curzon Cinemas . [20]

Critical reception

On Rotten Tomatoes , the film has a rating of 91% based on 12.8 reviews, average of 7.8 / 10. The site’s critical consensus reads, ” Beasts of No Nation finds writer-director Cary Fukunaga working with a talented cast to offer sobering, uncompromising, yet still somehow hopeful picture of human cost.” [21] On Metacritic , the film has a score of 79 out of 100, based on 30 reviews, indicating “generally favorable reviews”. [22]

Idris Elba won the SAG award for his supporting performance , becoming the first film to win an Oscar nomination . [23]

Controversy

In 2013, Artnet published an article suggesting that Fukunaga had appropriated content without crediting the work of Irish artist Richard Mosse , [24] whose work had gained notoriety in the art world for its use of infrared film and stirring depictions of child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo. To support its accusation of plagiarism, the article included direct comparisons of individual frames from the film and original still photographs by Mosse.

Accolades

Award Category Container result
Cinema for Peace [25] Cinema for Peace Award for Most Valuable Movie of the Year Cary Fukunaga Won
British Academy Film Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role Idris Elba Nominated
Costume Designers Guild Awards Excellence in Costume Design for a Contemporary Film Jenny Eagan Won
Empire Awards [26] [27] Best Male Newcomer Abraham Attah Nominated
Film Independent Spirit Awards Best Feature Nominated
Best Director Cary Fukunaga Nominated
Best Male Lead Abraham Attah Won
Best Supporting Male Idris Elba Won
Best Cinematography Cary Joji Fukunaga Nominated
Golden Globe Awards [28] Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture Idris Elba Nominated
Indiana Film Journalists Association Awards [29] Best Movie Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay Cary Joji Fukunaga Nominated
Best Director Cary Joji Fukunaga Nominated
Best Actor Abraham Attah Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Idris Elba Runner-up
National Board of Review [30] Breakthrough Performance Abraham Attah Won
NAACP Image Awards [31] Outstanding Motion Picture Nominated
Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture Abraham Attah Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Idris Elba Nominated
Outstanding Independent Motion Picture Won
George Foster Peabody Award [32] Excellency Red Crown Productions, Participant Media , Come What May Productions, and New Balloon
(Distributed by Netflix )
Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Abraham Attah, Kurt Egyiawan and Idris Elba Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role Idris Elba Won
72nd Venice International Film Festival Marcello Mastroianni Award Abraham Attah Won

References

  1. Jump up^ ” BEASTS OF NO NATION (15)” . British Board of Film Classification . October 5, 2015 . Retrieved October 5, 2015 .
  2. ^ Jump up to:b Frater, Patrick (May 17, 2014). “Participant Boarding Idris Elba-Starrer ‘Beasts of No Nation ‘ ” . Variety.com . Retrieved June 29, 2014 .
  3. Jump up^ “Beasts of No Nation” . Box Office Mojo . Retrieved December 4, 2016 .
  4. ^ Jump up to:d Fleming Jr, Mike (August 20, 2013). “Idris Elba To Star In Cary Fukunaga-Helmed ‘Beasts Of No Nation ‘ ” . Deadline.com . Retrieved June 29, 2014 .
  5. Jump up^ “Venice Film Festival: Lido Lineup Builds Awards Season Buzz – Full List” . Deadline . Retrieved July 29, 2015 .
  6. Jump up^ “Venice Fest Reveals Robust Lineup Featuring Hollywood Stars and International Authors” . Variety . Retrieved 29 July 2015 .
  7. Jump up^ “LIVE: The winners of the 72nd Venice Film Festival” . Retrieved September 12, 2015 .
  8. Jump up^ “Toronto to open with ‘Demolition’ world premieres for ‘Trumbo’, ‘The Program ‘ ” . ScreenDaily . July 28, 2015 . Retrieved December 13, 2015 .
  9. ^ Jump up to:b “feature Netflix movies” . Deadline . July 2015.
  10. ^ Jump up to:g “Ama K. Abebrese, Grace Nortey and others join Idris Elba in Beast of No Nation Movie” . nydjlive.com. 6 June 2014 . Retrieved June 29, 2014 .
  11. ^ Jump up to:b “Cliff Martinez to Score Cary Fukunaga’s ‘Beasts of No Nation'” . filmmusicreporter.com. October 29, 2014 . Retrieved October 31, 2014 .
  12. Jump up^ Swinson, Brock (January 8, 2016). “We’re not saving the world.We’re telling stories. “Cary Joji Fukunaga on Beasts of No Nation” . Creative Screenwriting . Retrieved January 8, 2016 .
  13. Jump up^ “Pix from Idris Elba’s ‘Beast of no Nation’ Movie Shoot in Ghana . Mycelebrityandi.com . Retrieved June 29, 2014 .
  14. Jump up^ Yamato, Jen (June 27, 2014). “First Look Photo: Idris Elba In Cary Fukunaga’s ‘Beasts Of No Nation'” . Deadline.com . Retrieved June 29, 2014 .
  15. Jump up^ “Idris Elba to shoot Beasts of No Nation in Ghana” . Radiotimes.com . Radio Times . May 27, 2014 . Retrieved June 29, 2014 .
  16. Jump up^ Pete (September 4, 2015). “GRAMMY WINNER DAN ROMER SCORES NETFLIX ” BEASTS OF NO NATION ‘” . Soundtrackandtrailermusic.com . Retrieved September 11, 2015 .
  17. Jump up^ Hurwitz (March 3, 2015). “Netflix to stream ‘Beasts of No Nation ‘”. USA TODAY .
  18. Jump up^ McNary, Dave (March 2, 2015). “Netflix Makes Another Bigscreen Splash With ‘Beasts of No Nation'” . Variety . Retrieved March 3, 2015 .
  19. Jump up^ “Netflix’s Beasts of No Nation boycotted by big four US cinema chains” . The Guardian . Retrieved March 4, 2015 .
  20. Jump up^ Leo Barraclough (2015-09-21). “Netflix’s ‘Beasts of No Nation’ to Receive UK Theatrical Release . Variety . Retrieved 2015-12-27.
  21. Jump up^ “Beasts of No Nation (2015)” . Rotten Tomatoes . Retrieved March 15, 2017 .
  22. Jump up^ “Beasts of No Nation reviews” . Metacritic . Retrieved December 25, 2015 .
  23. Jump up^ http://www.awardscircuit.com/2016/01/30/102064/
  24. Jump up^ “Did Film Director Rip Off Photographer Richard Mosse – artnet News” . News.artnet.com . Retrieved 2015-12-27 .
  25. Jump up^ ” ” Cinema for Peace Foundation ” ” .
  26. Jump up^ Nugent, John. “Jameson Empire Awards 2016: Star Wars and Mad Max lead the nominations” . Empire . Retrieved 2016-03-15.
  27. Jump up^ Metro.co.uk, Rebecca Lewis for. “Mad Max: Fury Road leads the pack at the 2016 Jameson Empire Awards” . Metro . Retrieved 2016-03-15 .
  28. Jump up^ Brent Lang (2015-12-10). “2016 Golden Globes: Lady Gaga, Transparent and Orange is the New Black Leads the Race” . Variety . Retrieved 2015-12-27 .
  29. Jump up^ “Home | Indiana Film Journalists Association” . Indianafilmjournalists.com . Retrieved 2015-12-27 .
  30. Jump up^ “National Board of Review Announces 2015 Winners” . Rotten Tomatoes . Flixter . December 1, 2015 . Retrieved December 1,2015 .
  31. Jump up^ “Nominees – NAACP Image Awards Website” . Naacpimageawards.net . Retrieved 2015-12-27 .
  32. Jump up^ “Netflix Wins Big At 75th Annual Peabody Awards” . April 22, 2016.

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