Skip to main content

Romeo Dallaire atttends an event at the University of Toronto in 2010.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Screenings of works-in-progress are a rarity at TIFF, so it was something of a treat, albeit a sobering one, for the festival to host a six-excerpt, 35-minute preview of Fight Like Soldiers, Die Like Children Tuesday afternoon, plus a post-screening panel discussion as part of the fourth annual TIFF Docs Conference program.

The documentary – based on Senator Roméo Dallaire's similarly titled 2010 book about the plight of the estimated 250,000 child soldiers in the world today – is directed by Patrick Reed and produced by Peter Raymont. (Raymont won an Emmy for helming the 2004 film Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire, based on another Dallaire book.) The hope is to finish the project by November as an 85-minute feature, take it to the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, then Sundance in early 2013, then to Toronto's Hot Docs in April.

Dallaire, 66, was part of the panel, and as usual spoke forcefully on the need to eliminate children as weapons of war. He railed at the continued "demonization" of Omar Khadr by Canadians and Canadian politicians even though Canada helped frame and remains a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. (Reed indicated Khadr's case will be included in Fight's final cut.)

Story continues below advertisement

The most arresting panelist, though, was 24-year-old Michel Chikwanine, who was abducted in Congo as a child soldier at age five and later forced by Rwandan rebels to kill his best friend. An Ontario resident since 2004, Chikwanine is doing voice-overs for animated sections in Fight Like Soldiers.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author

James More


The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at