LIBERIA: AN UNCIVIL WAR Rating: NNNNN Rating: NNNNN
In the clatter of calamity that defines world news, it's easy to forget Liberia. But the past two years have seen one of Africa's meanest, weirdest wars get weirder.
Jonathan Stack's documentary charts the recent gathering clash between president Charles Taylor, an accused war criminal, and rebel forces, who train child recruits to eat the hearts of their enemies.
This movie draws on stunning, never-before-seen footage to tell the tale of two outlaw militias heading for a standoff on a crucial bridge in the capital, Monrovia. In the city, Taylor waits for American troops and charms Stack's camera as his own men shoot up the town.
In the bush, embedded journalist James Brabazon watches rebels get drunk on the prospect of power. One wears a Fox TV shirt, which is appropriate. This is a lurid, tabloid war. A 10-year veteran soldier is 17 years old. Liberia: An Uncivil War is tightly paced, packed with information and surprisingly rich in context. The first best film of the year. (January 12, Bloor)