Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Marc de Jonge, Said Amadis, Younesse Boudache, Teufik Jallab, Agathe de La Fontaine
Director: Gilles de Maistre
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Gay & Lesbian
Killer Kid tells the story of Djilali, an orphan from Lebanon, recruited to be a soldier. He is sent to Paris on a secret mission, and, to help him "blend in," he is told to make friends with a poor Arab boy named Karim.... more »
A powerful insight into the world of the child militia
D. Starck | DORCHESTER, Dorset United Kingdom | 12/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"KILLER KID - 1994 - Dir Gilles de MaistreReviewed by Ollie - Dec 17th 2003CONTAINS SPOILERSLooking at the title of film, and reading the back of dvd box, one could easily be forgiven for thinking this is a second rate film, with an implausible plot of a kid sent to assassinate the President of France. It has the sound of a film which would be the antithesis of Agent Cody Banks.Titles and introductions are where the world of Hollywood and this film dramatically part company. This is an eyeopening film, offering a valuable, if unsettling, insight into the world of the child soldiers. Set in Lebanon, it begins with the indoctrination of Djilali, capably played by Teufik Jallab, into the world of the militia.This is a world where children are taught to fight, and die, for the beliefs imposed on them. Their training is brutal and unforgiving, and this is reflected with an accuracy that chills to the bone.Dijilali is chosen to undertake a mission. To stay with, and learn about a young boy, Karim, as whom he will pose. His ultimate goal, the assassination of the French Premier.Karim (Younesse Boudache), again played with considerable passion, is an Arabian child living in poverty in Paris. He knows nothing of terrorism, child soldiers and the horror that awaits him. His world consists of petty crime, skateboarding and rap music. These children's lives could not be more diametrically opposed. Dijilali's mission is simple. Learn about this boy, become the boy and carry out his sacred duty. However an unlikely friendship develops, and we are given an insight into the nightmares Dijilali suffers as Karim comforts him.
As the bonds of friendship grow, and the mission draws ever closer, Dijilali is forced to choose between his newfound, and only true friend, or his mission, his duty, his honour.Throughout this bonding there is an unerring sadness, tinged with gentle humour, and ultimately terror.I mentioned Dijilali's nightmares. These are our nightmares. These two completely disparate worlds, collide an unlikely way. There are no happy endings. This isn't Hollywood, and it isn't the sort of film you can walk away from and easily forget. This is a haunting and genuinely powerful insight into a world we still know so little about. Performances are commanding, and the sadness in the eyes of the children is convincing it makes very uneasy viewing.This is another astonishing effort from the studios of "Tales from the Orphanage", and one that is an essential piece of cinema. Both educational and depressing, this powerful film demands your attention, and once seen will stay in your mind and hearts for life....10/10 for the movie, 7/10 for the DVD.
The quality of the DVD is reasonable, although it should be noted that halfway through the 5.1 soundtrack loses synchronicity with the picture, and it is better viewed in the normal stereo mode. While subtitled, this is noticeable, and is really the only fault I can find.Reviewers sub-notesKiller Kid and the previously reviewed "Abandoned" are two of the most powerful films I have ever seen. They offer an incredible insight into a life that we, as Westerners, rarely see, and demonstrate how complacent we are about our own freedom and decadence. These films are not merely entertainment, and they certainly won't appeal to everyone. There is more horror in these stories than in any "proper" Hollywood horror film. True horror surrounds us every day, and for the most part goes ignored. That horror is the way our children, our FUTURE are condemned to lives of subservience, obedience, neglect and brutal cruelty.
It is sad that films like this need to made at all, but the fact they exist is a testament to the forgotten children who the world leaves behind. People NEED to see films like these. We all need our eyes opening to the real horror that surrounds us every day. Only then can we appreciate the liberties and freedom we enjoy as opposed to taking our lives for granted."
Terrifyingly Timely, Excellent Film
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 08/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"KILLER KID is another in the series of French films from the TALE FROM THE ORPHANAGE series. The title of the film is unfortunate as is the graphic on the cover of the DVD: this is not a silly sci-fi comic book story, but instead is a serious, alarming, poignant, and timely true story of how in this age of Terrorism it is the children who make the 'best terrorists'.
The setting is Lebanon 1986 and Djilali (Teufik Jallab) is a young boy sold into the military by his uncle for $3000. and is placed in a military camp where he is indoctrinated, trained, taught to kill, to resist, and to hate infidels (Jews and Christians) because they are the enemies of the Arab Muslims (Djilali's father was killed by a Jew). The training camp is show in grim detail - six young boys trained to fight and prepare for 'missions' to assassinate the enemy. It is a competition for a particular mission in France and Djilali is finally chosen and sent to Paris where is to live with a 'family' setup that will prepare him for the final phase of the mission - to assassinate the President of France.
Once in Paris, Djilali is placed with a young Arab boy Karim (Younesse Boudache), a buoyant street kid who befriends his junkie girl friend Isabelle (Agathe de La Fontaine) and prefers skateboarding and rap music to affairs of political nature. Djilali is to observe Karim and learn the boy's every behavior. In the process the two boys gradually bond and the hardened Djilali softens to Karim's humanity and fun-loving outlook. The moment of truth comes when Djilali is informed that he is to pose as Karim in order to kill the President of France. The manner in which these two bonded boys resolve Djilali's dilemma calls forth a surprise that abruptly alters the tone of the story: the two boys are on their own against the adult world.
Director Gilles de Maistre has taken the story from a book by Claude Klotz as adapted by Miguel Courtois and has created a film that is at once intensely disturbing (the current use of children as suicide bombers in the war in Iraq makes this 1994 film eminently poignant today!) and ultimately satisfying in its ending. The two young actors are superb and the entire production aspects make this film riveting. By inserting a 'Prelude' and 'Epilogue' we discover that this story is based on fact, a aspect that makes it all the more disturbing. This is a film that should be required watching for all ages, all countries. In French and Arabic with English subtitles. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, August 05"