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... See full summary »
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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... Written by
Karlovy Vary Int'l Film Festival
I went to see this movie with my mother. We come from Slagelse, the city where Gardehusarregimentet is situated, ie. the place of the danish camp from which these soldiers came from.
Previously I have been stationed abroad with the military so I know a bit about the situation. I also know that my mother was worried all the time I was away, so I figured she would appreciate the movie. And she did.
The movie is at times fun, but most of the time it's simply depicting the life I got to know. Lots of boring days, waiting for something to happen. It shows the exact same kind of stereotypes I saw myself, the quiet one, the gung-ho type, the smart-ass etc. I quickly tuned into the whole scenario.
Armadillo might not be a masterpiece technically, but if you can stomach seeing it and NOT getting a lump in your throat, you're either without feelings or not alive. I remember the day I was going to ship off, the last conversation with my mom. And I was in my late 20s. Some of these boys are in their early 20s and far from mature.
We get to see how the "hot" situations are down there and that is fine. But I would have liked more about their everyday boring life. Sure, it might not make for the most interesting movie material, but you don't get the exact picture of just how boring it can be too.
Apart from that, a very well made movie.
Oh and the controversy of the soldiers killing (lethally) wounded Talebans? I would have done the same thing. And I am almost a pacifist. I might not agree with the fact that we're shipping off people there still, but I agree with how the people down there reacts.
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