In neighbourhoods all over the country, kids play elaborate games of hide and seek, keepaway and, yes, even war. I Declare War brings you a look at one game of war, played in one neighbourhood. The game involves two sides trying to capture the other’s flag. There are three rules: you cannot move your base once the game has started, if you get shot (with a paintball bullet) you must stay down for 10 “Mississippis”, and if you get hit with a (paint) grenade you’re dead and you have to go home. The stakes are high in this particular game of war. Local legend PK Sullivan leads the frist squad. Known for his tactics and strategy, he is facing an opposing team that harbours considerable resentment towards him. As the battle rages on, the kids’ true natures begin to come out and everyone can see where they really stand.
This is a very intelligent film. It does something very refreshing in a movie involving kids: it doesn’t take for granted the fact that children are just smaller versions of adults. As a result it chooses not to underestimate the talent of its cast and creates realistic and appropriate scenarios for them.
Using the game of “war” as a metaphor for life, the film pulls no punches (or paint grenades) about the many different kinds of bullying, and that no one is really innocent when it comes to manipulating or hurting others to get what we want. Basically, if you were to fast forward these characters twenty years, you’d be watching Wall Street instead.
Partner the intelligent script with very talented actors and shoot it like a “real” war movie and you’ve got one of the best films of the year.
Is I Declare War Essential TIFF Viewing?
This film is definitely one of the best of the festival, and it is essential viewing, TIFF or not. It’s Canadian, however, so you’ll probably want to catch it at the fest to ensure you actually get to see it. (Thinly veiled dig at the Canadian distribution landscape. Wink, wink.)
I Declare War Screening Times
- Tuesday, September 11 at Cineplex Yonge & Dundas 10 at 2:00 PM, and
- Friday, September 14 at Scotiabank 4 at 9:45 PM
More About This Movie
I Declare War Trailer
I Declare War Production Gallery
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