7.3/10
314
6 user 3 critic

Fires of Kuwait (1992)

| Documentary, Short
After Saddam Hussein had the Kuwait Oil wells lit up, teams from all over the world fought those fires for months. They had to save the oil resources, as well as reduce air pollution. The ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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After Saddam Hussein had the Kuwait Oil wells lit up, teams from all over the world fought those fires for months. They had to save the oil resources, as well as reduce air pollution. The different teams developed different techniques of extinguishing the fires. From TNT-shockwaves blowing out the flames to Tank-mounted twin MIG-jet-engines (from Hungary) blasting away the flames (and nearly lifting the tank into the air), man's emergency creativity can be seen at it's best. Written by Julian Reischl <julianreischl@mac.com>

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Das Flammenmeer von Kuwait  »

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1.44 : 1
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The first IMAX film to be nominated for an Oscar (Best Documentary). See more »

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Featured in Tomorrowland (2015) See more »

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A positive triumph
3 August 2013 | by (São Paulo, Brazil) – See all my reviews

The engulfing flames that hide the whole desertic scenario, leaving only the colors yellow and black result of the combination fire and smoke, present in "Jarhead" is just an example of what's to be seen in the great documentary "Fires of Kuwait". But the CGI composed image from Sam Mendes film doesn't get near the real dimension of what happened in the early 1990's when Saddam Hussein ordered the destruction of all the oil fields in Kuwait during the Golf War. It's disturbing images, the pollution and waste of resources, haunting, a hellish nightmare yet it's strangely beautiful, astounding, hypnotizing. It's a shame that technology still isn't able to make us feel what it is to be close to an event of this magnitude, to smell, to feel the heat. The closer we can get of this effect (or at least the lucky ones who saw it in the theaters) is just the images, fully developed in IMAX with outstanding resolution. From the tragedy, we get the spectacle of fumes.

It's importance isn't wholly on the burning, it's about the team effort from people all over the world who coordinated and worked to extinguish the fires the best way they could. Their operation tested several different ways to combat the fire with one team using of water from pipelines (a team even tried to make a way to the ocean through the desert) and another team had a "The Wages of Fear" kind of mission, to put out fire with more fire by using dynamite. 9 months of extreme hard work, horrible conditions and a mission that seemed impossible. The challenge and the positive outcome of it, that's where the story is, that's why we join this real venture guided by the powerful voice of the great Rip Torn. 9/10


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