Russian Cinema – War Within Cinema

The topic of war is widely debated at this moment in time as the US and Britain along with other allies is currently deploying troops to the Middle East with the prospect of War against Iraq seeming increasingly imminent. War, in its various forms has been taking place for as long as civilization has existed and never fails to provide controversy amongst people. The question at present as to should we attack Iraq for failing to comply to regulations imposed from the Gulf War I know, has caused many people where I live (England) to rally against Tony Blair’s decision to back up the US.

Mr. Blair has been having a difficult time lately trying to swing the public’s opinion in favor of going to war. I too am having difficulty coming to terms with the idea of once again being at War as the affects of such can be catastrophic, as we have already learned throughout history. If indeed it is necessary to go to War then it should be at a last resort and concern for innocent human life paramount. Although I feel strongly against War I understand that at times there is no other option.

I also would be lying if I did not admit that a lot of my favorite movies depict some type of War, be it, “Escape to Victory,” “Black Hawk Down,” or “Saving Private Ryan,” being just a few classics that provide excellent entertainment whilst portraying powerful events in history. I have witnessed some movies this semester that all have a War theme but are different in their own individual ways. These movies are “Stalin’s Funeral,” “No Mans Land,” “The Cuckoo,” “The House of Fouls,” and “The War. ” The first movie I watched, Stalin’s Funeral showed the tragic death of this great man brings forth a “remembered” date in history.

It reminds me of those days in which something so huge and life altering happens that time itself is considered pre-event and post-event. I imagine it is one of those events that when spoken about, you can actually remember where you were at, when you heard the news. The anguish and confusion felt by those people in the film will never be forgotten, and therefore, be remembered forever. The tragic news of Princess Diana’s death is something that will always be remembered amongst my family as she meant so much to the people of Britain such was her caring persona.

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Another major event that has influenced our present position with the ongoing War against Terror happened on September 11. I was at a weight-training workout for the soccer team when someone came in saying to turn the TV on. When we turned it on, I can distinctly remember what was going through my mind. I was baffled. What was going on, did this disaster really occur? The rest of the day, I sat in front of the television in dismay. The events depicted in this film make me assume that the day Stalin died is a day identical to the ones I spoke of earlier.

This great and powerful man had so much influence over so many people of the world at this time; his death must be categorized similar to these other huge events. Although I was not around to verify it, I imagine people spoke of Russia at this time, as before and after Stalin’s death, exemplifying what an impact he had on a nation. Just as these other dates spoken of above, the day Stalin died will forever be remembered throughout history, for the people involved, as a day of confusion and anguish. War creates so many emotions not to mention heartache that it is hard to understand how it can be ever condoned.

With, No Mans Land I sensed it displayed that everyone was guilty in order to boost TV ratings and was unsympathetic to the real victims. The break up of the old Yugoslavia ploughed the country into a nasty War, which saw many innocent civilians slaughtered as the Bosnians and Serbs battled for territory. I have recently seen documentaries of the atrocities that took place and can understand the reason the UN became involved to try to resolve the situation. The idea that the UN should not be there however is gathered from this movie.

One other aspect of war is the often bringing together of different nationalities becoming united against an opposition. World War II being an example and The Cuckoo by Alexander Rogozhkir shows the human interaction and range of different languages that War brings. Set in the Chechen War, The House of Fools brings together comedy, romance and War. It is slightly different to most War movies as can be humorous at times whilst still based on a true story. Patients of a psychiatric asylum are left on their own when doctors abandon them to find transport to take them elsewhere.

Soon a band of Chechen soldiers turn up to set up camp and a patient falls in love with one of them abandoning her boyfriend Bryan Adams the pop singer who appears to her as a hallucination. The soldier soon pretends to be crazy also to flee the trouble. I believe that War provides great storylines for movies and can be a way of remembering those who sacrificed their lives fighting for their beliefs and in that way it’s a good thing. However, I stand by my belief that it must be at a last resort and something that must only happen if all peaceful resolutions fail to bring the necessary results.

I fear this is where we are headed against Iraq. War affects so much and so many that it is a deadly thing. Economically too we all suffer but in order to make this world a safe place to live in we will continue to come up against obstacles that jeopardize innocent lives and so leave no other option than to strike up against those that put us at risk. Our thoughts go out to those in the front line whose job it is to protect us back home but by placing themselves in danger in doing so. It is these brave souls that must be thought about when engaging in War.