October 17, 2015 |
Like a lot of of boys, Agu is good at playing war. He's got the helmet, he's got the combat boots. Unlike most kids, though, the weapon he's lugging around in Cary Joji Fukunaga's brutal and beautiful Beasts of No Nation happens to be real. Adapted from Uzodinma Iweala's 2005 novel about child soldiers in Africa, the film - the first feature to be acquired by Netflix, and launched Friday on the streaming platform that brought us House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black in tandem with Oscar-qualifying runs in select theaters - takes a hard look at the carnage and chaos that has riven the continent.
October 16, 2015 |
REVIEWS of the harrowing child-soldier movie "Beasts of No Nation" often deal with its financing, and while that seems tactless, it is also relevant. "Beasts" was funded by Netflix, and will be released on that streaming platform shortly after the movie opens in theaters (though it would be a shame to watch on a mobile device or laptop). Filmmakers hope that Netflix will be a hands-off source of support at a time when Hollywood is increasingly operating via over-cautious and sometimes cowardly corporate decision-making.
November 11, 2014 |
One in an occasional series on America's changing face Annonciata Nsenga kicked off her sneakers, stood on a chair, and tapped a nail into a wall of her rented rowhouse in Point Breeze. Eighteen years after she and her husband, Jean Pierre, both Congolese, fled their homeland's violence for a refugee camp in Rwanda - and five months into their new lives in Philadelphia - the rail-thin mother of five finally felt comfortable enough to hang a fresh portrait of the family, dressed nattily, smiling hopefully.
May 14, 2014
THEIR ONLY "crime" was to dream of an education and a future, which to Islamic extremists is a nightmare. Boko Haram's most dastardly act to date - the kidnapping and threat to sell about 275 Nigerian schoolgirls into sex slavery - is a brazen affront to humanity designed to supplant hope with despair. The act is so audacious and has such wide-reaching repercussions that the world must avenge it now. Nigeria and a coalition of African nations must provide the military muscle to free these girls and bring their captors to justice.
December 4, 2012 |
She was a guest of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, but it wasn't royal connections that landed Philadelphia lawyer Enid H. Adler at the Hague. It was her years of work in helping to create a forum where others might seek justice. Adler's life as a teacher, journalist, and advocate for people fleeing persecution drove her to help establish the International Criminal Court, founded in 2002 for the prosecution of war crimes across the globe. Adler, semiretired and battling cancer, traveled to the Netherlands to take part in the official ceremonies last month marking the 10th anniversary of a permanent, independent, international court.
November 29, 2012 |
UNITED NATIONS - The Security Council on Wednesday extended an arms embargo against armed groups in Congo, condemning a rebel group believed to be backed by Rwanda for attacking civilians. In a resolution adopted unanimously, the council extended sanctions against armed groups in Congo until Feb. 1, 2014, and said it would consider more measures against leaders of the M23 rebel group and those providing support. The M23, made up of hundreds of soldiers who deserted the Congolese army in April, has taken control of many villages and towns in the mineral-rich east since then, culminating in last week's seizure of the provincial capital, Goma.
June 4, 2012 |
The sentencing of former Liberian President Charles Taylor to 50 years in prison for war crimes that included the mass rapes of up to 64,000 women in Sierra Leone is a great step forward in the effort to see that this particularly heinous form of torture becomes less common in countries ravaged by civil and ethnic strife. Taylor was accused of providing arms and other support to a rebel group called the Revolutionary United Front in exchange for blood diamonds. The rebels' atrocities included not only rape, but amputations with machetes, some carried out by child soldiers, as well as the indiscriminate killing of thousands.
March 15, 2012 |
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The International Criminal Court convicted a Congolese warlord Wednesday of using child soldiers, a verdict hailed as a legal landmark in the fight against impunity for the world's most serious crimes. Human-rights advocates said the guilty verdicts against Thomas Lubanga - the first judgment in the court's 10-year history - should stand as a clear deterrent to armies around the world not to conscript children. "In this age of global media, today's verdict will reach warlords and commanders across the world and serve as a strong deterrent," the United Nations' special representative for children and armed conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, said in a statement.
March 1, 2012
Portugal: Fugitive won't go to U.S. LISBON, Portugal - Portugal won't extradite American fugitive George Wright for crimes he committed in the United States four decades ago, after Washington ran out of possibilities to appeal the decision to let him stay, a Portuguese court official said Wednesday. Portuguese police captured Wright near the capital, Lisbon, in September, ending his more than 40 years on the lam after escaping from a New Jersey prison. Wright was convicted of the murder of Walter Patterson in Wall Township.
May 10, 2011 |
There are indeed parallels to be drawn between training pit bulls for dogfighting and soldiers for war. The Kevin Augustine-helmed Lone Wolf Tribe, in its production of Hobo Grunt Cycle , takes an unusual approach to connecting these dots, while adding a few extra in the form of life-sized puppets and clowns. The results - maddening, touching, manipulative, ridiculous, often all at once - highlight Augustine's considerable artistry, while simultaneously showcasing his equally considerable hubris.