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Parents' Guide to

Another Day of Life

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Surreal violence, downbeat tone in animated war drama.

Movie NR 2019 85 minutes
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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

War is hell, but this stylish tour through battle-scarred Angola makes the conflict beautiful -- and heartrending, particularly when real people show up amid animated retellings of their story. At times, Kapuscinski's chronicle drifts into fevered fantasies: The sky turns red, and a deadly wind blows away civilian bodies like they're matchsticks, while foliage and ruins from an ominously empty landscape whirl and twirl as if a hurricane were lifting it into the air. But each time the animation fades away and real survivors of the Angolan conflict -- now elderly men -- relate their memories of Kapuscinski's anecdotes, we're reminded anew that what the men lived through was no fairy tale, even while the beautiful visuals may briefly convince us otherwise.

Another Day of Life doesn't resolve as satisfyingly as a fairy tale might, either. Even Kapuscinski's quest to meet Farrusco is no simple hero's journey: Obstacles arrive unpredictably and are resolved confusingly and frequently off-screen. And even when Kapuscinski makes it through, it's often unclear exactly what's just happened. This, too, is as real as the war that Kapuscinski wrote about. There are few heroes in this story, only people struggling to survive and prevail. But in illuminating a lesser-known (at least in the West) piece of African history, Another Day of Life shows us what was lost when the United States and USSR used Angola, as Kapuscinski puts it, as a "Cold War chess piece" -- and what intrepid reporters like Kapuscinski went through to tell the story.

Movie Details

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