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Showing posts with label War. Show all posts
Showing posts with label War. Show all posts

Jul 27, 2019

Combat Obscura (2018)


Just out of high school, at the age of 18, Miles Lagoze enlisted in the Marine Corps. He was deployed to Afghanistan where he served as Combat Camera -- his unit's official videographer, tasked with shooting and editing footage for the Corps' recruiting purposes and historical initiatives. But upon discharging, Lagoze took all the footage he and his fellow cameramen shot, and he assembled quite simply the very documentary the Corps does not want you to see. COMBAT OBSCURA is a groundbreaking look at the daily life of Marines in a war zone as told by the soldiers themselves. More than a mere compilation of violence, the edit ingeniously repurposes the original footage to reveal the intensity and paradoxes of an ambiguous war from an unvarnished perspective.

Gun Trucks of Vietnam (2018)


Celebrate the unsung bad boys of Vietnam: the gun trucks.

Jul 25, 2019

Of Men and War (2014)



A dozen combat vets return home to the United States haunted by traumatic memories from the battlefield. Wives, children, and parents bear the brunt of their fractured spirits. At The Pathway Home -- a pioneering PTSD therapy center -- these war vets try to resolve their debilitating mental conditions. A Vietnam vet therapist helps these men attempt to make peace with themselves, their past, and their families.

Jul 22, 2019

Korengal (2014)



KORENGAL picks up where RESTREPO left off: the same valley, same men, but a very different look at the experience of war. KORENGAL not only shows what war looks like, but how war works and what it means to the young men who fight it. While one soldier cheers when he kills the enemy, another asks if God will ever forgive him for the killing he has done. As one soldier grieves the loss of a friend, another explains why he misses the war now that his deployment has ended, and admits he would go back to the front line in a heartbeat. Every bit as intense and affecting as RESTREPO, KORENGAL gives audiences a front row view into the world of combat.

Jul 19, 2019

The White Helmets (2016)



As daily airstrikes pound civilian targets in Syria, a group of indomitable first responders risk their lives to rescue victims from the rubble. Volunteer rescue workers put their lives on the line to save civilians amidst the turmoil and violence in Syria and Turkey.

A Sniper's War (2018)



A SNIPER'S WAR is the story of Deki, a sniper whose anti-US views led him to join the pro-Russian rebels in the ongoing Ukrainian conflict-a primary source of tension between the United States and Russia. When social media becomes a communication platform to schedule sniper duels, Deki's rival threatens to kill him. The filmmaker obtains unprecedented access to military bases and frontline battles. She collected hundreds of hours of footage to paint an intimate portrait of the complex and fascinating nature of a sniper. Is Deki simply a man searching for purpose? A victim of historical events? Or is he a criminal, a terrorist, and a vicious killer?

Jun 26, 2019

Of Fathers and Sons (2017)



After his Sundance award-winning documentary Return to Homs, Talal Derki returned to his homeland where he gained the trust of a radical Islamist family, sharing their daily life for over two years. His camera focuses mainly on the children, providing an extremely rare insight into what it means to grow up with a father whose only dream is to establish an Islamic Caliphate. Osama (13) and his brother Ayman (12) are in the center of the story. They both love and admire their father and obey his words, but while Osama seems to follow the path of Jihad, Ayman wants to go back to school. The film captures the moment when the children have to let go of their youth and are finally turned into Jihadi fighters. No matter how close the war comes-one thing they have already learned: they must not cry.

Only the Dead (2015)



Only the Dead is a war story unlike any ever seen. A story of what happens when one ordinary man, Time magazine war correspondent Michael Ware, transplanted into the Middle East by the reverberations of 9/11, butts into history. Ware handpicked and given a shattering video tape by the most feared, most hated terrorists on the planet to announce his arrival of the world stage sets out on an epic journey into the deepest recesses of the conflict as he seeks answers. Answers that he thinks will lead him to the Truth.

Jun 24, 2019

Restrepo (2010)




It is fairly extraordinary that this film exists. The level of access attained by Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger over their 15-month period embedded with the Second Platoon, Battle Company, 173rd Airborne Brigade allows for an incredibly unvarnished account -- including footage of deaths both civilian and military. It's perhaps the most intimate and unflinching examination yet of the processes of modern warfare -- and an exhilarating, heartrending, profoundly moving film in its own right. A year with one platoon in the deadliest valley in Afghanistan.

WWII from Space (2012)



This two-hour special uses CGI to recreate a satellite view of the events of World War II. The unique context provides history buffs further insight into the conflict and the process that led a nation that was once ranked 19th in the world's militaries to emerge as the planet's only atomic superpower.

The Gatekeepers (2012)



Charged with overseeing Israel's war on terror-both Palestinian and Jewish- the head of the Shin Bet, Israel's secret service is present at the crossroad of every decision made. For the first time ever six former heads of the agency agreed to share their insights and reflect publicly on their actions and decisions. The Gatekeepers offers an exclusive account of the sum of their success and failures. It validates the reasons that each man individually and the six as a group came to reconsider their hard-line positions and advocate a conciliatory approach toward their enemies based on a two-state solution.

May 5, 2019

No End in Sight (2007)


On March 19, 2003, forces from the United States and a handful of allied nations invaded Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein from power.

American military leaders expected the conflict to last no more than a few months, and President George W. Bush declared that major military operations were over less than two months later.

However, Iraq soon became a dangerous quagmire for American forces, and near the end of 2006, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, one of the key architects of America's strategy in Iraq, resigned from office due to public outcry and Bush declared he was "rethinking" his plan of attack in Iraq as the nation sank into civil war, with U.S. troops the frequent targets of attacks on both sides.

May 1, 2019

White Light/Black Rain: Hiroshima and Nagasaki (2007)


On August 6, 1945, the world was changed forever when American forces dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later, another similar bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, and shortly afterward Japan surrendered to the United States. The human cost was tremendous -- 210,000 died in the immediate aftermath of the atomic attacks, and another 160,000 would later die of related illnesses and injuries.

While Japan would rebuild itself as an international economic power, the nation's psyche still carries the scars of those fateful days in 1945, and award-winning filmmaker Steven Okazaki examines the lingering impact of the first two uses of thermonuclear weapons in the documentary White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

In White Light/Black Rain, Okazaki talks with fourteen survivors of the 1945 attacks, ranging from an artist who has recounted his experience in comic art to a woman who was the only child out of 620 students to survive at a Hiroshima elementary school. White Light/Black Rain also features interviews with Americans involved in the attacks and probes their feelings about the use of the bombs sixty years later. White Light/Black Rain was an official selection at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.



Apr 22, 2019

Ghosts of Abu Ghraib (2007)


Award winning documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy explores the human and political consequences of one of the most bitter scandals of the war in Iraq in this feature. In the 1960's, a prison was built in Abu Ghraib, an Iraqi city west of Baghdad, and during the regime of Saddam Hussein it became a center of torture and abuse where political dissidents were subjected to agonizing punishment or death.

Following the United States invasion of Iraq in 2003, the prison was taken over by American military authorities, and was used as a holding facility for prisoners of war and suspected terrorists captured by U.S. forces.

The prison's reputation as a site of widespread abuse rose again when journalists discovered photographs of Iraqi prisoners being tortured and humiliated in an ugly variety of ways by American soldiers, a scandal which had a major impact on international thinking about the war.

Ghosts of Abu Ghraib offers an in-depth look at the story behind the abuse of Iraqi prisoners, featuring interviews with observers on both sides of the national divide. Ghosts of Abu Ghraib received its world premiere at the 2007.

Apr 16, 2019

Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience (2007)


Writing about experience necessarily sanitizes it, theorizes Sangjoon Han, a Korean-American soldier who fought in Iraq and is one of many articulate talking heads in Richard E. Robbins’s documentary Operation Homecoming. Built around the firsthand recollections of soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the film is a spinoff from an anthology of essays, e-mail messages, poems and letters compiled by the National Endowment for the Arts and published by Random House.

Mr. Han’s Aftermath, a fictional composite of several events, is one of the strongest and most sophisticated contributions. Written from the dual perspectives of a fleeing Iraqi farmer and an American soldier who shoots him after repeatedly shouting at him to stop, it reaches a tragically absurd conclusion in which the American treats the farmer whose vital organs were piled on top of him with an IV.

As you absorb the most graphic images of combat and how it changes people in these works written by soldiers but read by nine actors, sanitize is not a word that comes to mind. The best pieces portray combat as such a heightened sensory experience that it demands to be written about, and they suggest that war can turn ordinary men who wouldn't think of keeping diaries into latter-day Hemingways.

The World at War (1973)


The second World War had a profound effect on the course of the 20th century, and unfortunately, its horrors, including ethnic cleansing, terrorism, despotism, invasions, the curtailment of civil rights, and rampant nationalism, are still concerns of the modern day. The documentary series The World at War is outstanding in its ability to unfold the complex issues of WWII in a clear, objective, and gripping manner.

Each of the 26 episodes of this five-DVD set, narrated by Laurence Olivier, focuses on a particular, specific aspect of the war, starting at the beginning with Hitler's rise to power in Germany and progressing through the end of the war. Because of this focus, each episode examines its subject in detail, going beyond the names-and-dates style of history that I remember being subjected to in high school, to delve into the much more interesting and important issues of how and why.

I learned something new from every single episode, starting with the very first one. The episodes proceed overall on a regular timeline from the beginning to the end of the war, but since a great deal often happened over a short period of time, the series backtracks at several points to fill in what was happening in different places. For instance, after we are taken through the events from Hitler's rise to power in Germany in the late 1930s to the Battle of Britain and Hitler's attacks on Russia.

Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers (2006)


Join documentary filmmaker Robert Greenwald (Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, Outfoxed) in assessing the damage done to average Americans when corporations decide to wage war. For critics of the current administration, the connection between the war in Iraq and the private corporations who profit from the fighting is plain to see..

For those who may not be so easily convinced, however, Greenwald and company not only explore the questionable motivations of the corporate decision-makers whose wartime profiteering has affected the lives of countless soldiers and their families, but also the increasingly negative international reputation of the United States as a result.

Apr 15, 2019

The Civil War: A Film by Ken Burns (1990)


War may be hell, but it can make for great television, as Ken Burns proves in his masterful 11-hour PBS series chronicling the deadliest war in American military history. The Civil War was a landmark TV event that held record numbers of viewers riveted to their screens and reinvented the documentary form. Taking full advantage of the fact that the Civil War was the first war to be captured extensively on camera, Burns synthesizes evocative archival photographs (among them, Matthew Brady's emblematic images of Union soldiers) with diverse and illuminating narrative voices.

Well-known actors read diary entries, letters from the front, official dispatches, and speeches from the era. These voice-over readings convey the full range of human fears and hopes of those shaping and being shaped by the war, while an engaging group of historians (most notably Shelby Foote) provide historical perspective.

The result is a seamless collage that illuminates, with quiet nobility, this most painful chapter in our nation's past. It's been said that history belongs to the victors; like Homer before him, Burns demonstrates that a major chunk of it belongs to the best storytellers.

Apr 14, 2019

The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress (1944)


Movie Guide Unabashedly sentimental, this war film was produced by David Putnam in partnership with Catherine Wyler, whose father William Wyler directed an acclaimed documentary about the real-life events depicted in the film.

Experience the American Journey through our country's visual heritage in this historical recording provided by the National Archives of the United States.

Documentary: On the Memphis Belle: a Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress, and the first American bomber and crew to complete twenty-five missions over enemy territory in World War II. Highlights the mission to Wilhelmshaven: ground crew duties, flight crew briefing, and the elaborate plan of coordinated raids intended to fool the enemy. After the Memphis Belle returns, the Crew receives the Distinguished Flying Cross and are visited by many dignitaries, including the King and Queen of Great Britain. Views of B-17's in flight, being shot down, crews bailing out of burning bombers and air base activities.

From the Office of War Information.

This historical recording from the National Archives may contain variations in audio and video quality based on the limitations of the original source material.

The content summary for this documentary is adapted from an historical description provided by the government agency or donor at the time of production release.

Combat America (1943)


In 1943 actor Clark Gable served as a Major in World War II, operating out of England's Royal Air Force station Polebrook (RAF Polebrook) as a member of the 351st Bomb Group. Gable flew five missions during his term, and was tasked with producing Combat America as a recruitment tool. He worked in partnership with unit members First Lieutenant Andrew McIntire, a former director of cinematography for MGM, additional camera operators Master Sergeants Robert Boles and Merlin Toti, and Hollywood scriptwriter John Lee Mahin.

Together this team of seasoned industry professionals created an energetic and educational propaganda piece intended to motivate viewers to serve their country while doing the same themselves. Produced at a time when audience patriotism was at an all-time high, the film plays to the national desire to defend fellow man and country. Opening with footage of both civilians and servicemen looking to the sky in admiration of the fighter planes as they soar overhead, viewers are transported across seas for an inspirational look at the life of a bombardier.

Featuring a playfully animated narration by Gable, we are walked through the process of gearing up for flight, from checking ammunition to assessing uniforms and safety gear. Gable gives a coaching voiceover as the planes take off, advising them on how to maneuver, take flight, and avoid crashing in a fiery blaze.

Conversational moments with soldiers lend a personalized perspective to hum-drum aspects of serving, such as making small talk while cleaning their service weapons or chatting casually on the airfield. The action footage picks up when we join the bombardiers in the air, as they evaluate the enemy threat and plot their course of action. Gunners are shown on alert and ready at their turrets, acting promptly on the directive to fire. Culminating in a mass air-drop, the boys deliver their payloads and return to base.

An adventurous and invigorating documentary, Combat America will hold great appeal to historical buffs and World War II enthusiasts. The film serves as a time capsule back to a fight that has not gone forgotten, allowing an unaltered depiction of the servicemen and weaponry of the time.


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