Experiencing Interruptions?


Born in Battle tells the story of Oneka, a former child soldier who has escaped the clutches of his rebel masters. In order to survive his past he escapes into his own fantasy, a world far away from his nightmarish present.

  • Yangzom Brauen
    Who killed Johnny, Ruprecht,
  • Yangzom Brauen
    Who killed Johnny
  • Gerold Wunstel
    Who killed Johnny, Ruprecht
  • Yangzom Brauen
    Who killed Johnny, Born in Battle
  • Roland Kilumbu
    Key Cast
  • Aaryanna Nelson
    Key Cast
  • Krystel Roche
    Key Cast
  • Don Woods
    Key Cast
  • Nina Onuora
    Key Cast
  • Georgina E. Okon
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Short, Other
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    September 15, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    50,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Yangzom Brauen

Yangzom Brauen, Director, is a Swiss-Tibetan actress and director who studied at the University for Theater and Music in Berne, Switzerland. She directed her first award winning feature film ‘Who Killed Johnny’ in 2013 with a theatrical release in Switzerland. She continues working as a director as well as a writer and actress. The short film “Ruprecht” won the audience award at the Short Film Long Night L.A. Film Festival in 2014. She wrote her bestselling book, a memoir about three generations of Tibetan women called “Across Many Mountains” published by St.Martins Press, in 2008. The book is translated into 12 languages. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I started my research two years ago, well aware of the touchy subject. I read quite a few books about this topic, watched a lot of films and read many, many testimonials from former child soldiers from all over the world. I quickly realized, those children coming back from the war have to live through horrific nightmares. The same goes for Vietnam veterans of course. Post dramatic stress disorder, depression and sometimes even suicide. Through my research, I realized that the majority of current documentaries and feature films were focused on the children in the actual event of battle and war, rather then focusing and coping with the aftermath of their awful experiences. This was basically the principal part of my study. I collected child soldier testimonials from Asia, South America, the Middle East and Africa, only then I decided to put all my collected material into one single, strong voice. That of the young child soldier Oneka. 70% of all child soldiers are boys, therefore I decided to tell the films story through an African boy, representing and acting for all child soldiers around this world.

Most of the “Voice over” is based in harsh reality. Because that is the reality these child soldiers have to go through, day in and day out. They dream and hope for a better life in the near future, in a save and pleasant First World like ours. I tried to understand these children; what are their dreams and yearnings? I wanted to make their horror visible on screen. We see the film through their eyes. They are veterans like any other war veterans. The only difference, they are children and their brain is not fully developed, which leaves bigger scars on their mind and soul.
Just recently, I read about how ISIS is training young children on how to decapitate bodies. They actually practice on dolls in their training camps.
I collected good memories from my childhood. That included birthday parties, playing with dolls and spending time with my family. And exactly those images are neglected from any child who is forced going to war. How can they ever play with dolls again? The memories of what they experienced will always haunt them their entire life.