"Alternatingly delightful and troubling" Hollywood Reporter
"Exciting and thoughtful" Village Voice
"Compelling... The kid performances are all top-notch" New York Daily News
"Entertaining and insightful" Los Angeles Times
"This Canadian feature cleverly mixes archetypes from war films and coming-of-age movies, defamiliarizing both genres in the process... The movie follows its own creepy, opaque logic and leaves a strong aftertaste" Chicago Reader
Almost every afternoon, a group of 13-year-old friends gather for a game of Capture the Flag in the woods. Using sticks and old toys as weapons, these would-be warriors form allegiances, stage rebellions, and discover treacheries that blur fantasy and reality. P.K. Sullivan, a brilliant military tacticianhis favorite film is Pattonleads a crack team to frequent victory. The commander is Quinn, whose attitude is less serious because he is enamored with the game's sole female player. One afternoon, loose cannon Skinner decides to challenge the rules and stage a mutiny. He is hell-bent on destroying P.K. by any means necessary, starting by taking his best friend as a prisoner of war.
Directors Robert Wilson and Jason Lapeyre clearly remember how in childhood, everyday emotions can feel incredibly intense, as youthful innocence of the game gradually takes on a different tone as the quest for victory pushes the boundaries of friendship. I Declare War could be described as Lord of the Flies meets Roald Dahl in this fascinating and unsettling take on the games that children play. Incisively charting the boundaries between innocence and experience and recalling Lindsay Anderson's If... in its disturbing shifts between reality and fantasy, I Declare War is one of the most accomplished and intriguing films that is as much about adolescence as warfare in recent memory.
Directed by Jason Lapeyre and Robert Wilson, 2012, Canada, 2012, 91 mins.