World Cinema & War...What Hollywood won't touch.

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STuG
 
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World Cinema & War...What Hollywood won't touch.

Postby STuG » Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:44 pm

Hello all,

as a few members expressed an interest in world cinema films that are war/conflict related i thought i would start a thread to highlight some examples. I will try to maintain a theme over the postings and group the films by conflict and country of origin. Some may well have popped up on your radar, some you may have seen. Hopefully you will find a gem or two in the following posts that are entirely new to you.

A few examples will be quite crude compared to their modern cousins, but i have added them as they are of interest for various reasons, some of those reasons i will mention in a brief introduction of each.

I will add a small caveat that as film is a very subjective medium what i find to have merit you may dislike, but the point of the thread is to show what exists outside of the Hollywood bubble, and to showcase some wars that get little mainstream attention because US paratroopers or marines cannot be crow-barred into them. I would dearly have liked to have added some British made films into the overall mix, but as we seemingly have lost the capacity to record our history via the medium of film over the last few decades, tragically i can't.


France.

Dien Bien Phu (1992).

Director: Pierre Schoendoerffer.



The battle that essentially lost France her south-east asian colonies as part of the first Indochina war which was the precursor to the US and its slide into being mired in the region. The battle itself was an epic brutal seige and much of worth has been written on it. This particular film was directed by a veteran of the battle itself who was a French Army camera man. He was wounded during early skirmishes, but returned to the battle as he 'Had to testify'.

There are a couple of books on this battle that are really essential reading if you have any interest in military history.

Shot in Vietnam near the actual battlefield ( the site now is an urban sprawl) it is very evocative of period imagery. What the director must have been feeling and remembering must have been almost overwhelming.

This film is very difficult to locate in physical form as it has long been deleted. To the best of my knowledge no offical version exists with English subtitles and it was on released on DVD only in France, Germany and Vietnam.
The director made another, earlier, film detailing the French in Vietnam which i will link below this one.

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Re: World Cinema & War...What Hollywood won't touch.

Postby STuG » Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:46 pm

La 317ème section (1965) : The 317th Platoon.

Director: Pierre Schoendoerffer.

The battle of Dien Bien Phu has been lost and a French platoon that has become isolated behind enemy lines tries to return back to an outpost held by French Union forces.Led by a green idealistic French officer and his ex-wehrmacht senior NCO. The rank and file of the platoon are Laotians.



Interestingly, this film was made in Cambodia with the full help of the Cambodian army. Cambodia was one of the focal points for the region as in 1965 it had just broken diplomatic ties with the US and was courting communist help. Civil war and the attention of the N.Vietnamese were just around the corner.

Not the safest environment to film in!

Long out of print also sadly, although copies can be found with some digging.
Last edited by STuG on Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: World Cinema & War...What Hollywood won't touch.

Postby STuG » Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:49 pm

"La battaglia di Algeri" (1966) :The Battle of Algiers.

Director: Gillo Pontecorvo

"Col. Mathieu: Should we remain in Algeria? If you answer "yes," then you must accept all the necessary consequences."


France and her attempt to keep Algeria as a colony. A bone fide modern classic.



Commisioned by the Algerian Government to show both sides of the war objectively. It demonises neither side with broad brush strokes and allows the viewer to formulate their own view. France militarily won the conflict but lost politically.
The 1er Régiment Étranger de Parachutistes, 1er REP ( 1st Foreign parachute Regiment - foreign legion paratroops) a unit with a strong combat record in Indochina and Algeria was disbanded after an unsuccessful military coup attempted to take Paris in protest at negotiations that French Prime Minister Michel Debré's government had started with the anti-colonialist National Liberation Front (FLN).

Buy the 'Criterion COllection' region 1 DVD for the definitive package.

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Re: World Cinema & War...What Hollywood won't touch.

Postby STuG » Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:52 pm

L'ennemi intime (2007): Intimate Enemies.

Director: Florent-Emilio Siri.



A drama following a French platoon during Algeria's war of independence circa 1959. Sometimes the enemy is a face you know.

Another objective rendering of a complex war.

One of my favourites. Widely available on DVD. Apologies for the low-res trailer, the others i had found were dubbed into German for some reason!
Last edited by STuG on Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: World Cinema & War...What Hollywood won't touch.

Postby STuG » Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:56 pm

Indigènes (2006) : Days of Glory.

Director: Rachid Bouchareb






A slightly odd English language title which should really read 'indigenous' but was retitled for various reasons.

A mixed platoon of Algerian and Morrocan colonial troops fighting for France The promise of liberty, equality, and fraternity rings a little hollow for those that gave all against the Germans. There is a dreadful production error in one of the lead characters wearing something that wasn't invented for decades after WW2, but the subject matter just about excuses it. Almost.

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Re: World Cinema & War...What Hollywood won't touch.

Postby STuG » Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:58 pm

More to follow in the next few days, another war and country of origin.

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Re: World Cinema & War...What Hollywood won't touch.

Postby Animalmother » Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:05 pm

Sweet :)

I was arsing about a found a downloadable version of Dien Bien Phu but it's in French only, shame.

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Re: World Cinema & War...What Hollywood won't touch.

Postby STuG » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:18 pm

Korea.

Korean cinema is lively and vibrant and has undergone something of a renaissance in the last decade. Films dealing with the Korean War (and related themes) have benefited from this new zest . The war itself is quite fascinating, the ideological clash feared in Europe was transplanted to the Korean peninsula and a Britain weakened and bankrupt from the cataclysm just 5 years in the past, honoured our obligations, stood by allies and defended a country from naked aggression alongside a UN force. It also marked China as returning to the world stage in a quite shocking and devastating fashion.

Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War (2004)

Director: Je-kyu Kang.

When North Korea invades the South, two brothers are forced into the army to help repel the invaders. The older brother attempts to protect the younger and find a way to get him home and out of harms way.
War and fate have different plans for them both...

A breakthrough film in the west that enjoyed major mainstream success. Very good combat scenes and it also touches on the brutality meted out on civilians by North & South Koreans.


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Re: World Cinema & War...What Hollywood won't touch.

Postby STuG » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:20 pm

Pohwasogeuro: 71: Into the Fire (2010).

Director: John H. Lee.

As the North Korean spearpoint surges southwards brushing aside US and S.Korean units in the eastern coastal region of the country a stand is made during the Battle of P'ohang-dong.
Due to the severe manpower shortage facing them, the South Koreans arm a body of students to hold a girls middle school and halt and delay any further probes towards the town.
Some events are important to the national memory of a nation, this is one such film and as such it is tinged with a large amount of melodrama at times, especially in the finale. Still worth watching though as long as you take that emotional weight from the film makers into consideration.


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Re: World Cinema & War...What Hollywood won't touch.

Postby STuG » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:23 pm

Go-ji-jeon: The Front Line (2011).

Director: Hun Jang.

The Korean war is coming to a close but both sides are still fighting over a strategic hill to gain an advantage in territory when the armistice is called.
A south Korean company commander is found to have been murdered. A Lieutenant of the Defense Security Command is sent to investigate the case and finds far more than he ever imagined.

Another of my favourites despite an odd scene with a sniper...


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Re: World Cinema & War...What Hollywood won't touch.

Postby STuG » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:31 pm

Incidentally, the South Koreans produce some of the finest collector edition DVD/Bluray sets you can buy.

Works of art in some cases.

If there is further (or any!) interest, i'll add some more things to the thread.

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Re: World Cinema & War...What Hollywood won't touch.

Postby banapaulo » Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:52 am

STuG wrote:Korea.

Korean cinema is lively and vibrant and has undergone something of a renaissance in the last decade. Films dealing with the Korean War (and related themes) have benefited from this new zest . The war itself is quite fascinating, the ideological clash feared in Europe was transplanted to the Korean peninsula and a Britain weakened and bankrupt from the cataclysm just 5 years in the past, honoured our obligations, stood by allies and defended a country from naked aggression alongside a UN force. It also marked China as returning to the world stage in a quite shocking and devastating fashion.

Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War (2004)

Director: Je-kyu Kang.

When North Korea invades the South, two brothers are forced into the army to help repel the invaders. The older brother attempts to protect the younger and find a way to get him home and out of harms way.
War and fate have different plans for them both...

A breakthrough film in the west that enjoyed major mainstream success. Very good combat scenes and it also touches on the brutality meted out on civilians by North & South Koreans.



Very moving and powerful film if extremely melodramatic, though apparently that's a trait of Korean films.
katarn wrote:Oh yeah! I agree with Banapaulo. 8)

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Re: World Cinema & War...What Hollywood won't touch.

Postby STuG » Sun Sep 11, 2016 7:37 pm

Just thought i would resurrect this old thread of mine as the Russian film industry is still producing things of interest for those with an historically themed interest.



Panifilov's 28. A film based around the defence of Moscow. Some gorgeous cinematography in this one. Debuts a little later this year.

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Re: World Cinema & War...What Hollywood won't touch.

Postby Animalmother » Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:01 am

I must admit that looks interesting.

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Re: World Cinema & War...What Hollywood won't touch.

Postby Nethlyn » Sat Sep 17, 2016 8:06 pm

Keep 'em coming StuG, as I heard of two but none of the others and haven't seen any of them properly, good to expand the non-English film watching side of things.

[EDIT]Dvadtsat vosem panfilovtsev is how Panfilov's 28 comes up in IMDB, since the subtitles are done you'd hope for as quick a release as possible but its domestic release is sadly after the London film festival. If that really only cost $2-3million to make from a crowd-funded budget of 35million Roubles then it looks even more impressive. Gotta see it now!
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