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Ballade vom kleinen Soldaten

Werner Herzog, Denis Reichle West Germany, 1984

Duncan Gray's rating of the film Ballad of the Little Soldier

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.