5 stars, and not only because the politics and logistics are trivial, whether reported objectively or in a biased fashion; and Herzog knows this. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt such pain while watching a report in which so little happens, even as it serves as a ballad about ‘men without women’ which will always carry us back to childhood.
A sad look at the creation of child soldiers. And while I appreciate the need to emphasize the horrors brought upon them by the Sandinistas, I feel Herzog waited too long to show the universality of the issue. Only at the very end does Denis Reichle's commentary point out how it's no different from his own experiences. And, unfortunately, I think that point gets lost in such a short work.
i like historical footage so i could give this four stars no matter the content. but i just don't trust propaganda films like this. is it true? isn't it true? who is this guy anyway? and the title? ugh...I thought it was going to focus way more on the plight of child soldiers. i did some research and apparently this film caused a lot of protest. it was accused of being a one-sided tool for Reagan's Contras.
32 years ago..... Denis Reichle talks about his own experience serving as a child-soldier in the Volkssturm now 72 years ago....how far back can you go I wonder? To the beginning? Today there are thousands of child soldiers around the world...how much further will we go allowing this to happen...forever?
short, depressing portrait of a depressing situation. relatively light on the history and heavy on the toll that combat takes on people and cultures. lots of people doing awful things on every side. reichle's interjection at the end was real as hell and provided a lot of context into why this movie was made at all. it made it a movie of solidarity as opposed to just one of observation.
A nauseating documentation of tragedy. There's a political angle at play, but I think Herzog was most interested in capturing the horror inflicted on the Miskito children by the Sandinistas and their own people. This is certainly a precursor to Joshua Oppenheimer's 2012 film, The Act of Killing, although Ballad... is more journalistic in its construction. The last couple shots are so potent.
A bit slight but with a reportorial quality that keeps it moving forward, especially in the first half. In contrast to what others are saying here, I found it a bit slow going once it just focused on military maneuvers and why the kids were fighting the Sandinistas (mainly because they killed the rest of their families). But a nice look at a peaceable Indian tribe forced to take up arms.
Herzog's most journalistic doc, probably owing to the fact that it was a partnership with a journalist. The first two thirds are a swift, passionate, factual genealogy of how war spreads, but it's the last 15 minutes that are truly brilliant, paradoxical, and Herzogian: the sight of child soldiers, part caught in an endless cycle, part desiring to take an active role in it, and part still very much children.
fascinating access to the culture, the people, in a very turbulent time. sadly the director chose to make the people seem pathetic, rather than emphasize the desperation that leads an obscure jungle people to enlist even their children to fight against the ills of the socialist agenda.
Ah... Herzog films, this little ballad of life and childhood represents the ready child, the fresh souls to train to fight the designated bad troops who killed their families. Call it career soldiering or what they have left in their circumstances of life, albeit young and trainable(brainwashable)... These children seem to get training, like deadly boy scouts, of course "comrades" would be the wrong word choice here.