Johnny Mad Dog

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Promotional image showing the unusual costumes of the boys

Johnny Mad Dog is a 2008 French/Liberian film directed by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire, and starring Christopher Minie, Daisy Victoria Vandy, Dagbeh Tweh, Barry Chernoh, Mohammed Sesay and Joseph Duo. The film is based on the novel Johnny Chien Méchant (2002) by the Congolese author Emmanuel Dongala.


Johnny Mad Dog follows a group of LURD child soldiers fighting in 2003, during the latter part of the Second Liberian Civil War. The actors are mostly aged 10 to 15. All were unknowns when cast; some were themselves child soldiers.[1] The film follows their march towards the capital Monrovia, and follows them in a gritty realistic manner as they move through a series of towns and villages, where they terrify and often execute the populace.

The soldiers are depicted as almost feral, committing acts of pillage and rape, with scant regard for even their own lives.[2] They are heavily armed, and wear a variety of outlandish outfits – butterfly wings and a wedding dress – and have nicknames such as No Good Advice, Captain Dust to Dust, and Chicken Hair.[3] Johnny Mad Dog leads the small group of younger militia. He is commanded by the older General Never Die, who feeds the boys cocaine and tells them "IF you don’t wanna die, don’t be born".[1]


  1. ^ a b Burke, Gavin. "Johnny Mad Dog". Retrieved 4 July 2010.
  2. ^ Bradshaw, Peter. "Johnny Mad Dog". The Guardian, 22 October 2009. Retrieved 4 July 2010.
  3. ^ "Johnny Mad Dog". Sundance Institute. Retrieved 4 July 2010.

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