A curious one. Very good poster, off-beat yet compelling trailer. Scheduled at TIFF. Here's a bit of their write-up:
- The neighbourhood kids have been playing war games in the forest all summer, but today there's something different in the air. The rules are the same: no moving base camp; when you’re shot you cannot move until you count ten steamboats; a grenade kills you; you lose when the other general captures your flag.
- I Declare War, Robert Wilson and Jason Lapeyre's fascinating, virtually uncategorizable action film about the war games children play, dials up memories of Richard Brooks' Lord of the Flies and Lindsay Anderson’s If..., and like those films it charts the boundaries between innocence and experience, savagery and imagination. But where those films maintained a certain distance from their characters, I Declare War drops us into its pint-sized heroes' mindsets. Wilson and Lapeyre alternate between reality and fantasy, with homemade toy guns replaced with far deadlier-looking AK-47s, and conversations that don’t actually occur
- The result is a film that may affect viewers in wildly divergent ways, combining both horror and comedy, mining humour from the notion of a kid pretending to be an adult without any true understanding of the implications of what they’re saying. The effect is similar to that of a Roald Dahl story or some of Donald Barthelme’s more sardonic stuff: unsettling and slyly humourous, with some very sinister undercurrents. I Declare War signals the emergence of two significant new talents on the Canadian scene, and introduces a startlingly skilled troupe of young actors.
Worth a look.