Ballad of the Little Soldier (1984)


Ballad of the Little Soldier (German: Ballade vom kleinen Soldaten) is a 1984 documentary film directed by Werner Herzog about children soldiers in Nicaragua.


The film focuses on a group of Miskito Indians who used children soldiers in their resistance against the Sandinistas.

Herzog made and co-directed the film at the request of his friend Denis Reichle, who himself served as a child-soldier in the Volkssturm at age fourteen in the aftermath of World War II.

The film is often cited as Herzog’s most explicitly political, though Herzog denies that he had any specific statement on the politics of the Sandinistas. Herzog has said that the film is about child soldiers, and could have been made in any of several countries where child soldiers exist.

Production & Filming Details

  • Narrator(s): Werner Herzog.
  • Director(s): Werner Herzog and Denis Reichle.
  • Producer(s): Werner Herzog and Manfred Nagele.
  • Writer(s): Werner Herzog and Denis Reichle.
  • Music: Isidoro Reyes and Paladino Taylor.
  • Cinematography: Michael Edols and Jorge Vignati.
  • Editor(s): Maximiliane Mainka.
  • Production:
    • Süddeutscher Rundfunk (SDR).
    • Werner Herzog Filmproduktion.
  • Distributor(s):
    • New Yorker Films (1985) (USA) (theatrical) (dubbed).
    • Ripley’s Home Video (2005) (Italy) (DVD) (‘Aguirre, der zorn gottes’) (boxed set).
    • Shout! Factory (2014) (USA) (Blu-ray) (DVD).
    • Ripley’s Film (2003) (Italy) (all media).
    • VIGGO (2020) (Italy) (all media).
  • Release Date: 05 November 1984 (West Germany).
  • Running Time: 46 minutes.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Country: Germany.
  • Language: English, German, Spanish, and Miskito.

Video Link

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