Wednesday, August 03, 2005

War Movies

Last night we sat down to watch a movie that I had recently bought on the cheap rack at WalMart. The movie was "Thin Red Line" with a Who’s Who of actors. I thought it would be a good movie – it was not. At least as far as we watched without being bored to death waiting on a plot of some sort. It was suppose to be a WWII movie, but the military men were all being portrayed as cowards or worse. We turned it off and watched "Always" – one of my favorite movies.

A recent "World" magazine article reviewed the new FX tv show called "Over There" about the Iraq war. It did not give it a very good review of the show. It did have some interesting things to say about war movies. It pointed out that most war shows are not made until after the war is over – not while it is going on. There were some WWII movies made during the actual war, but they are now considered propaganda movies because they were made to keep up the morale on the home front (something that "over There" does not do apparently). The article also pointed out the change in war movies over the years. War movies made five decades ago present GIs fighting for a cause that gave meaning and value to their sacrifices – soldiers were heroes and causes worth fighting for. After Vietnam, all movies about war changed. "The soldier was portrayed as an existential hero, struggling – and often failing – to keep his humanity in a world of senseless violence…In more recent war movies, patriotism is a joke, leaders are corrupt, and idealism is a foolish illusion." Personally, I can think of some war movies made recently that I do like - "We Were Soldiers", "Saving Private Ryan", and "Band of Brothers". Maybe I liked these movies because they portrayed the GIs as heros, who although they were scared, they fought for their country, and their brothers next to them in battle. The rest of the article pointed out that although "Over There" is suppose to be non-political according to its writer, Steven Bocho, it has underlying tones putting down our military men and the war in Iraq. Here is another quote from the "World" article, "But to portray a war without any of its ideals is to portray that war as meaningless. If the reasons for the war are just "politics," if war is nothing more than a struggle for survival, who could support it?"

If "Over There" does not support the war in Iraq, what does it really do? I thought the "World" article very interesting and will be glad to send it to anyone who would like to read the whole thing.

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