Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters and endeavor to build a village in order to protect themselves and about 1,000 Jewish non-combatants.
In 1945, the Marines attack twelve thousand Japaneses protecting the twenty square kilometers of the sacred Iwo Jima island in a very violent battle. When they reach the Mount Suribachi and six soldiers raise their flag on the top, the picture becomes a symbol in a post Great Depression America. The government brings the three survivors to America to raise funds for war, bringing hope to desolate people, and making the three men heroes of the war. However, the traumatized trio has difficulty dealing with the image built by their superiors, sharing the heroism with their mates. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The story is realistic and very compelling by not glorifying war
(Synopsis) There were five Marines and one Navy Corpsman photographed raising the U.S. flag on Mt. Suribachi by Joe Rosenthal on February 23, 1945. "Flags of Our Fathers" is the story of three of the six surviving servicemen, John "Doc" Bradley (Ryan Phillippe), Pvt. Rene Gagnon (Jesse Bradford), and Pvt. Ira Hayes (Adam Beach), who fought in the battle to take Iwo Jima. The picture became one of the most famous images of the U.S. winning a battle during WWII. However, the battle for Iwo Jima raged on for another month with three of the marines being killed in action. The other three servicemen were taken out of battle and flown back to the states. The photo made these men heroes, and the government used these new heroes to promote the selling of war bonds on the War Bond Tour. The three men did not believe they were heroes, even though the American public did.
(My Comment) The film was based on the book written by Doc's son, James Bradley. It wasn't until his father's death that he found out that Doc was one of the Iwo Jima flag raisers. Soldiers with real combat experiences usually keep their war stories to themselves. Clint Eastwood directed the film, and he didn't pull any punches in the battle scenes, even though the battle for Iwo Jima was considered one of the bloodiest against the Japanese in the Pacific. The only problem I had with the movie was that Eastwood used too many flashbacks that jumped around and made the movie hard to follow. The movie would have been better if Eastwood had gone in chronicle order with some flashbacks. During the battle scenes, you actually see the chaos that soldiers encounter on the battlefield. Overall, I found the story to be realistic and very compelling by not glorifying war. It is a long movie, but the time passes very fast. This film will receive many Oscar nominations. Some of the movie is graphically violent and shows the dark side of war, and the effects war has on our returning soldiers. (Warner Brothers Pictures, Run time 2:12, Rated R) (8/10)
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