Netflix’s debut venture into filmmaking tackles the dark reality of child soldiers. Beasts of No Nation stars Idris Elba as a nameless Commandant recruiting children for war in an unnamed country in Africa. A civil war has left many children without a family and the memories of their slain parents. The Commandant takes full advantage of the young boys’ vulnerabilities, particularly one boy called Agu (Abraham Attah).
The beginning of the trailer shows a frightened Agu and domineering Commandant pushing him around and referring to him as “it.” Throughout the trailer, you watch Elba’s character carefully manipulate Agu, establishing a bond based on dependence until he is his “son” and follows his orders without question. By the end, the children form a full-fledged army under the Commandant, mercilessly killing and conquering as a group.
Beasts of No Nation is inspired by a novel by Uzodinma Iweala and directed by Cary Fukugana. The film will premiere on Oct. 16 in Landmark theaters and on Netflix. Watch the trailer below.