War Witch

March 1st 2013
  • Drama/Historical,
  • Unrated,
  • 90 min,
  • Tribeca Film
  • Cast: Rachel Mwanza, Alain Lino Mic Eli Bastien, Serge Kanyinda, Mizinga Mwinga, Ralph Prosper, Jean Kabuya, Diane Uwamahoro, Jupiter Bokondji, Starlette Mathata, Alex Herabo, Dole Malalou, Karim Bamaraki, Sephora Françoise, Jonathan Kombe, Marie Dilou, Gauna Gau, Renate Wembo, Alexi Sabwé, Nicolas Fransolet, Kazadi Zadio, Bonaventure Kabamba, Angèle Okito, Agnes Mujinga, Moïse Ilunga, Jordan N'Tunga
  • Director: Kim Nguyen
  • Writer: Kim Nguyen
  • Producers: Pierre Even, Marie-Claude Poulin
  • Co Producer: Kim Nguyen
  • Associate Producer: Anne-Marie Gélinas
  • Art Direction: Emmanuel Frechette
  • Costume Design: Eric Poirier
  • D.O.P.: Nicolas Bolduc
  • Editor: Richard Comeau
  • Makeup: Bijou Onya
  • Set Decoration: Josée Arsenault


Komona, a girl in Sub-Saharan Africa, tells the story to her unborn child about her kidnapping by rebels and forced to join their bloody civil war. When she discovers a valuable intuition about the presence of the enemy, she is elevated as a witch and favored by the rebel leader.

However, this special status threatens to be short-lived in this world of superstition and senseless brutality even as the ghosts of the war dead haunt her visions. However, when a newfound friend convinces her to desert, Komona finds escaping that brutal life is far from easy with its physical and spiritual consequences following her wherever she goes.

Basic Information

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Filming Locations: Kinshasa, Democratic Republic Of Congo
  • Production Budget: $3.5 million
  • Production Companies: Item 7, Shen Studio

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2013 Guide Analysis: "Also known as "Rebelle," this Canadian drama is both filmed in and set primarily around the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Debuting at Berlinale last year, it went on to win numerous awards at various festivals. It has since garnered wide attention thanks to it making the final list of nominees for the Best Foreign Language Film award at the upcoming Oscars.

Kim Nguyen ("La Cité," "Truffe") helms this story of 14-year-old Komona (Rachel Mwanza), a girl who has been kidnapped from her African village by rebels and forced into becoming a child soldier. She manages to escape from the camp with an albino soldier, and experiences the joys of a peaceful and loving life. A fresh tragedy forces her to confront and fight the ghosts haunting her mind.

The original true story on which this is based actually took place in Burma, but Nguyen shifted the action to an unspecified region of the Congo. It is a ten-year labor of love, and it's not sanitised - this is ultra-realistic and violent, but ultimately at its heart a poignant young romance and coming-of-age story.

Comparisons will be made to "Beasts of the Southern Wild" due to the focus on a young female lead played superbly by an untrained actress, not to mention the character also seeing things that aren't there (in this case ghosts). The comparisons end there, however, as trailers for 'Witch' showcase some really stunning imagery along with a far more grounded, believable and realistic feel to the various events unfolding."

Trailers & Clips

Worldwide Release Dates

  • 23 August 2012: Netherlands
  • 21 September 2012: Poland
  • 28 November 2012: France
  • 16 January 2013: Belgium
  • 14 February 2013: Russia
  • 9 March 2013: Japan
  • 26 April 2013: Norway
  • 10 May 2013: Spain
  • 24 May 2013: Sweden
  • 27 June 2013: Hungary