Date: November 2006
Location: Congo Brazzaville, Sudan, El-Salvador, Philippines
Distributor: International Committee of the Red Cross
Credits: filmed, directed and produced by Claudio von Planta
2nd Cameraman and Reporter: Karzan Sherabayani
Interviewer: Juan Martinez – ICRC Staff

WORDS OF WARRIORS is a 30 minute educational film where combatants of irregular armed conflicts talk about their perception of the Geneva Conventions.


WORDS OF WARRIORS is used by delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross to promote basic knowledge of International Humanitarian Law. They try to reach child soldiers, jihadis, militias, drug barons, et cetera. I believe this film is especially significant during these troubled times.

Production Notes:

It was a major challenge to find fighters who were willing to talk about their personal war experiences. I was very surprised that none of our interviewees had any doubts about the necessity of the Laws of War. I expected that some of them would simply believe in brute force and terror as the most effective means to win a war. But none of them see any benefit in excessive violence because it haunts the perpetrators for ever and inevitably it turns the civilian population against them.

A former Cobra commander in Congo Brazzaville admitted how he is still having nightmares about decapitating one of his Ninja opponents.

A girl soldier in South Sudan who witnessed the massacre of her family is glad that her SPLA commander stopped her committing a revenge attack.

All around the world, the vast majority of warriors clearly appreciate the existence of International Humanitarian Law. But far too often they don’t hear about these rules. I truly hope that this film will help spread the message.


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