Netflix's first theatrically released film is set to hit limited theaters and the streaming service on October 16. From the looks of the Beasts Of No Nation trailer, it's going to be a gut-wrenching story. From the critically acclaimed novel by Nigerian writer Uzodinma Iweala, and shot by True Detective director Cary Fukunaga, Beasts of No Nation follows the story of Agu, a child who is ripped away from his family during civil war in an unnamed African nation. Filmmaker Fukunaga is known for really encompassing stories with his stunning frames and shots. His first feature film Sin Nombre, went to the Sundance Film Festival in 2009, and won awards for both cinematography and directing. Since then, Fukunaga has gone on to do more exceptional work including 2011's Jane Eyre which starred Michael Fassbender and Judi Dench. Most recently, Fukunaga directed the first season of HBO's True Detective. Last year Fukunaga spoke with Interview Magazine about how he envisions his stories should unfold onscreen. He said,
A great story should have an overall intoxication or attraction — not a cheap, red-herring hook at the end.
Netflix's Beasts of No Nation looks like it will encompass all of those things and I couldn't be more excited to see it. With newcomer Abraham Attah as Agu and Golden Globe Winner Idris Elba as the warlord Commandant, the streaming service is definitely stepping outside of the box with this film. Since the film will debut on Netflix and be released in theaters simultaneously there has been a great deal of criticism. AMC, Regal, and Cinemark theaters are all boycotting the film however, IMAX and other indie theater chains have said that they are game to still screen the film. With such an amazing story, director, and cast, I doubt the film will suffer any when it comes time for awards season. Here are eight heart-wrenching moments from Netflix's Beasts of No Nation trailer, that prove Fukunaga's awe-inspiring shots can really pull at your emotions.
1. These Children Camouflaged In the Bushes
War is as always horrifying, but even more so when children are involved. Fukunaga's close up of these children's faces as they prepare themselves for a surprise attack is haunting.
2. This Grenade Attack
I've seen explosives used in films hundreds of times. However, what makes this shot so different is the fact that Fukunaga framed the shot from the inside of the vehicle just before the grenade hits it.
3. This Man Who Is Being Dragged Down The Road
It's always been difficult for me to watch any living thing in a state of helplessness. This man being dragged down the road with his hands and feet bound made me turn away for a moment.
4. Agu Witnessing The Carnage He Helped Create
As I stated previously, children should know nothing of the horrors of war. But to make them actively participate in it is unimaginable. Fukunaga's shot of Agu as he runs to witness what he's done is chilling.
5. These Flashbacks of Agu With His Family
Loss is a profound thing that can forever affect the course of your life. Losing loved ones at a very young age and then being ripped away from everything you've ever known is unimaginable.
6. When Commandant Kicks Agu
Idris Elba has done incredible work since he played Stringer Bell on HBO's The Wire. His role as Commandant in this film will surely be terrifying to witness. Embodying someone who uses children to commit violent crimes had to be a life altering experience for him as an actor.
7. This Horrifying Frame
Agu is obviously tortured by terrible memories of the things that have happened to his family. Fukunaga choosing to frame his face in a close up as he recalls an attack on his family left me breathless.
8. This Man Crying For Mercy
No one should have the power to take anyone else's life, and a child should definitely not be forced to make such an horrendous decision. As Commandant eggs him on, Agu must decide if he's going to kill the man who is begging him for mercy.
Watch the full trailer for Beasts of No Nation below. Be warned, it's not for the feint of heart.
Images: Netflix/YouTube (9)