It is imperative that history is told not through the eyes of the vicotrs but through the stories of the victims. children of War attempts to recreate and retell the horrors of creation of Bangladesh and war with Pakistan through just these stories. A noble intent however is marred by some lacklustre execution.
A borther and sister duo are the only ones left alive in a village, a journalist couple get seperated and an old village headman is struggling to lead his village to safety, it is thorugh these eyes that we get to hear the tales of what exactly happened in the "war of liberation" that we so proudly project as a triumph of Indian diplomacy and war skills. What marrs the experience is that we never are given the bigger picture. There never is a macro view of what conspired nationally that affected these lives in the micro level.
Fleeting references to Bhutto and India;s intervention remove the main context from the story, leaving much of the convincing to be done by the actors, most of whom try hard but are not able to make the proceedings any easier. a lot of the gore and blood comes out forced and contrived.
This is not to say that what the film stands for is relevant and important today. Children of war is an important film, a brave one as well, for having the guts to go beyond the jingoistic versions of the time in our history and making a film that does not shy away from telling things as they are. Just that one wishes it were more complete in its approach. Catch this nonetheless. It might be a little distrubing for the faint hearted, so caution is in order.