Armadillo (2010) (Blu-Ray)
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|1-Disc Version|| |
|Format||Import, Blu-ray, Widescreen, Collector's Edition|
|Contributor||Janus Metz Pedersen|
Denmark released, Blu-Ray/Region B DVD: LANGUAGES: Danish ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), Danish ( DTS 5.1 ), Danish ( Subtitles ), English ( Subtitles ), Norwegian ( Subtitles ), Swedish ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (1.85:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Collectors Edition, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: In February 2009 a group of Danish soldiers accompanied by documentary filmmaker Janus Metz arrived at Armadillo, an army base in the southern Afghan province of Helmand. Metz and cameraman Lars Skree spent six months following the lives of young soldiers situated less than a kilometer away from Taliban positions. The outcome of their work is a gripping and highly authentic war drama that was justly awarded the Grand Prix de la Semaine de la Critique at this year's Cannes film festival. But it also provoked furious debate in Denmark concerning the controversial behavior of certain Danish soldiers during a shootout with Taliban fighters. The filmmakers repeatedly risked their lives shooting this tense, brilliantly edited, and visually sophisticated probe into the psychology of young men in the midst of a senseless war whose victims are primarily local villagers. Yet more disturbing than scenes in which Taliban bullets whiz past their cameras is the footage of the young soldiers as each tries, in his own way, to come to terms with putting his life constantly on the line. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Toronto International Film Festival, ...Armadillo (2010) (Blu-Ray)
- Language : Danish
- Package Dimensions : 16.8 x 13.4 x 1.2 cm; 81.65 Grams
- Director : Janus Metz Pedersen
- Media Format : Import, Blu-ray, Collector's Edition, Widescreen
- Run time : 101 minutes
- Actors : Janus Metz Pedersen
- Subtitles: : English, Danish, Swedish
- Language : Danish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
- Studio : Nordisk
- ASIN : B004IIOHFE
- Number of discs : 1
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Like in most such military moves to a foreign country, especially in having to take on a terrorist group that doesn't abide with the legality of fighting to take over a country, and ignores the Geneva Convention, and doesn't have a recognisable uniform, plus uses the local population to hide in whilst trying to ambush military forces of those countries that are trying to bring stability and peace to the country, at the request of its government, are put in a position where civilians and their cattle and crops, along with their buildings being destroyed when the terrorists use them as placed to hide weapons as well as fire from.
The DVD shows the confusion when fire starts begins hitting the Danish troops, and shows some of the injured being treated. After getting intelligence about an ambush being planned for the following day the Danes set out in the night to reach a point where it was expected they would be ambushed from, and the ensuing fire-fight saw the Danes eventually dealing with the group of terrorists in the manner that had been planned for them. As is well-known in the heat of battle, after seeing comrades either killed or badly wounded, the terrorist were cornered and put out of their misery, although those who weren't there thought this action was against the rules of war, it was similar to the war in the Pacific against the Japanese soldiers, who when surrendering often had grenades to not only commit suicide with, whilst trying to kill as many soldiers at the same time. This resulted in those fighting the Japanese often not taking any chance of being fooled and allowing themselves to be killed by someone whose military code thought that death was better than surrendering, so the Danes took no chances in the final battle scene before they flew back home to be greeted as heroes, but at the cost of losing some fellow soldiers, and having some lose limbs in the fight to rid Afghanistan of those who sought power by the use of violence against not only the local population, but those helping the countries government.
A well put together film of a group of young soldiers who grew up to be men before returning home as men that had to deal with the mentality of war.
I previously watched Restrepo (2010) and while it is very worthy, to me it somehow suffers when compared to Armadillo in that Pedersen managed to get that bit deeper under the skin. Armadillo is less about the "situation" and more about the individuals' experience, be it enjoyable or unpleasant.
Engagements with the Taliban are sudden and fierce, but there are longer periods of soldiers video-gaming (war), watching porn and chatting about everything and nothing. Someone told me that when they think of war, their touchstone is Platoon (1986). I could not have disagreed more. THIS is a bold attempt at relaying and understanding conflict, and is mercifully free from oversimplification, cliched dialogue, cool soundtracks and stereotypes.
Of course, as with all documentaries (& films), editing is key, so that civilian viewers can never get a truly whole and authentic experience of conflict, but Pedersen's strength is his ability to dispel or dilute the myriad of (Hollywood) "myths" of (modern) conflict from Dr. Strangelove (1964) to Black Hawk Down (2001).
I was very surprised that the troops involved were so battle worn and knowledgeable about what they were up against unlike our American cousins who seem utterly perplexed with the psyche of your typical Afghan terrorist.
This was a no holds barred tough film and the most realistic that I have seen on the war in Afghanistan.
Definitely worth a watch .......or two.