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WAR FILMS

by Kenji
When my wife and i were on holiday in Turkey, after walking for miles on a hot day we sat down by the roadside in a layby. A truck pulled up, with a man, a woman and a little girl. The girl ran up to us, gave us some grapes and then ran back and the truck drove off. La Grande Illusion Too many films, whether through nationalist fervour or inadvertently, glamourise, glorify and effectively promote war. I’ve included a few “Boys’ Own”’ type entertainments (e.g The Great Escape, The Dirty Dozen), some which give mixed messages (eg The Deer Hunter) and some quite patriotic statements (e.g Alexander Nevsky), but hope this list does more to… Read more

When my wife and i were on holiday in Turkey, after walking for miles on a hot day we sat down by the roadside in a layby. A truck pulled up, with a man, a woman and a little girl. The girl ran up to us, gave us some grapes and then ran back and the truck drove off.

La Grande Illusion

Too many films, whether through nationalist fervour or inadvertently, glamourise, glorify and effectively promote war. I’ve included a few “Boys’ Own”’ type entertainments (e.g The Great Escape, The Dirty Dozen), some which give mixed messages (eg The Deer Hunter) and some quite patriotic statements (e.g Alexander Nevsky), but hope this list does more to discourage than promote war. The White Balloon from Iran is not a war film but should serve as an antidote to current warmongers, just as some superb (indigenous) Vietnamese films should be required viewing for those who’ve preferred to dehumanise an enemy.

Along with a few films i’ve not seen (Battle of Chile, Steel Helmet, Danube Waves, Eroica/Heroism), I’ve also included the Cuban masterpiece Lucia, for the first part of the triptych, and almost hallucinatory scenes of lacerating angst and power (a precursor to the harrowing Come and See).

My favourites:
Hiroshima mon Amour
Casablanca
Grand Illusion
Tale of Tales
To Be or Not to Be
The Human Condition
Duck Soup
When the Tenth Month Comes
The World at War
Night of the Shooting Stars
Apocalypse Now
Dr Strangelove
The Battle of Algiers
The Great Escape
Signs of Life

a selective not comprehensive list

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