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Nov 8, 2017 in Literature
In this movie, the 1980s war in El Salvador which tore the country apart is portrayed through the experiences of 11 years old boy. The character is a young boy, a native of a small town in rural El Salvador. The town the boy lives in is a battlefield that knows no peace and fighting between the government troops and the rebels is a daily affair and a fact that the town folk have to live with (Cacho & Medina).
Abandoned by his father, the eleven-year-old becomes the man of the house. Approaching twelve, the character knows that if he does not avoid it he will be made a child soldier by the government and so plans to be absent from school the day military recruiters would visit his school by finding out in advance. The war though edges closer and he can’t avoid it any longer (Cacho & Medina).
Children and women are the most vulnerable victims in wars and the film explores this. Abandoned by his father at that tender age, the character in the movie is spontaneously transformed into an adult faced with responsibilities he shouldn’t be worrying about at his age. The movie shows the terror civilians go through in this nasty war.
During wars, the line between soldier and civilian is so blurred and often crossed by both the rebels and the government. The government’s deliberate policy of recruiting children in its forces once they attain the age of twelve shows just how children rights can be systematically abused (Cacho & Medina).
The movie is resourceful in the study of Latin America as it addresses themes that happened during recent turbulent times that are now a part of its history. The Latin American countries as they are today and the policies they have are in a way influenced by these recent events.