Hope you all are doing well and that the summer has been going great. One thing I love about summer is that I have the time to watch some movies in my free time, both new summer releases and DVDs. What do you think of Dark Knight Rises? (I'm not giving away my thoughts here though)
I can bet that there's a good number of us who love watching war movies right?
As an effect of both history (who wins wars) and my living in the US, most of the popular war movies come from the US/Western perspective...which is not very interesting for me. Don't get me wrong, Saving Private Ryan and Patton are technical masterpieces, and I appreciate the daily sacrifices men and women give to the nation.
We cannot avoid the fact that victors write history, but would it be much more interesting be to see war from other perspectives? To deviate from the "Yeah Good Guys!" genre that celebrates heroism and valor under fire, explore what other nations have suffered and experienced in other wars, and perhaps gain a more complete perspective of the world today.
In today's post, I'll be sharing 2 non-US/Western movies that have impacted me and make for very insightful viewing. These movies are less well-known than The Great Escape, Platoon, and The Longest Day, but they are also well produced and directed, and show us the consequences of war from a very different perspective.
1) Blessed by Fire (2005)
Blessed by Fire (Spanish: Iluminados por el fuego) is a movie on the Argentine side of the Falklands War (or Guerra de las Malvinas). The film explores the aftermath of the Falklands War on Argentinian veterans, who experienced horrors on the battlefield and returned as broken soldiers after losing the war.
|Leguizamon and his fellow soldiers taking cover from a British strafing attack.|
|The guy second from right is the platoon commander and can be a real prick.|
2) Tae Guk Gi: Brotherhood of War (2004)
Tae Guk Gi is a Korean War movie titled after the pre-war flag of the People's Republic of Korea and current flag of South Korea. It covers the journey of two brothers (Lee Jin-tae and Lee Jin-seok) who are drafted into the Republic of Korea (ROK) army, and see themselves in the middle of a brutal war of ideology that has split the country apart.
The main plot of the film sees the two brothers come into conflict with each other due to different views. The older brother (Jin-tae) volunteers for deadly missions to earn a medal to get his younger brother (Jin-seok) discharged from conscription. However, Jin-seok vehemently protests to Jin-tae stay away from such missions in order to stay alive. This conflict ultimately sees them being fighting against each other in the opposing armies.
|The brothers are conscripted into the ROK army and thrust into bloody battles.|
|ROK infantry advancing with a M4 Jumbo Sherman in the background.|
Have you seen other war movies that do not take the US/Western perspective? What do you think about them? There's a lot that I haven't covered (due to space), such as Letters from Iwo Jima, Schindler's List, Das Boot, and Days of Glory (Indigènes).
I do have to say that war movies can be rather depressing and can take away the sheen of the glory of war. An eye for an eye does indeed make the whole world blind (that's from Gandhi), and while we try to leave a better world for the people of tomorrow, shouldn't we also leave better people for the world tomorrow?