Tigers Are Not Afraid ★★★★

Issa López’s debut feature feels like a companion piece to Guillermo del Toro's ''The Devil's Backbone' (2001) or 'Pan's Labyrinth' (2006): It follows an adult story from the perspective of a child who doesn’t fully understand the world she’s navigating but, at the same time, she also understands things that the adults don’t.

The fantastical ambiance and talented young cast blended with the real war zone backdrop make for an unforgettable experience in a battle between good and evil. While 'Tigers are Not Afraid' is uneven at times, López does an excellent job of keeping the storyline focused on the harsh reality of the dire situation faced by these kids. Powerful filmmaking.

Shudder.