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Christopher-Lee dos Santos
Nicholas Van Der Bijl,
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Set in Northern Italy during the last embers of the war, the beleaguered vanguard of Axis forces suffer daily bombings and the constant threat of attack from local partisans. Tempers begin to flare between these 'allies' as they await their impending doom. Written by
This film has all the quintessential elements a film should possess-a superb cast, an untold story delivered from a unique perspective, wonderful writing interspersed with moments both light and humorous as well as thought-provoking, and a wonderful director at its helm. It beautifully conveys the banality of everyday life for front-line troops combined with the sheer terror of modern warfare and enables the American viewer to empathize with an enemy fighter in a way that few war movies have done in the past. Although I was surprised by the high level of realism and technical detail achieved by the film, it was the relationship of the German and Italian soldiers, a relationship that has rarely been explored despite Hollywood's obvious fascination with the European theater, that truly carried the film. The tension-filled, yet often comical dynamic between the downtrodden soldiers of the two armies, seemingly fighting for dramatically divergent goals, fully captivated me, allowing me to forget that the American GI was little more than an afterthought in the film. A film that is particularly relevant for our times and should be viewed by all-highly recommended!
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