A cargo plane goes down in a sandstorm in the Sahara with less than a dozen men on board. One of the passengers is an airplane designer who comes up with the idea of ripping off the undamaged wing and using it as the basis for an airplane they will build to escape before their food and water run out.Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
Epic example of conflict resolution and mastering challenges - and a great movie!
This masterpiece is now 40 years old and has lost nothing of it's excitement due to it's fantastic, outstanding actors (Attenborough and Kruger have never done better from my point of view), director, scenery and the simplicity of the story itself. A plane lost in a desert, no help and a challenge to master by people, who never chose to master their destiny together in a hostile environment.
The way the conflict is layed out can serve as an example for organizational conflicts, cultural conflicts, simply: whenever humans have to solve a problem that jeopardizes their future under resource constraints. Or even mankind on earth in the hostile universe, who need to solve their very own conflicts? All actors are able to deliver fully convincing natural emotions in this kind of situation to make the audience understand why humans usually fail to solve these conflicts. How many actors can you name today that are superstars and can do it like them? It's becomes evident how difficult the first step to compromise or to accept leadership of another person is, especially for western individuals. Accept leadership and downgrade oneself in the hierarchy, despite the fact that there is usually one solution which suits the groups interest as a whole better? How many leaders or e.g. managers are able to do this? In the end, the collaborative approach is successful, staged behind a general struggle for power, influenced by the cold war environment, containing an explosive mix of historical facts and clichés on British imperialism/militarism, American heroism, German nazihodd/engineering rational and various other aspects. You could easily work out how difficult the situation would be, if nowadays a e.g. member of priest of a Christian church would crash land together with a Muslim mullah. How would they be able to work together to master the hostility of the desert? Would they be able to accept a compromise? You can spend months to identify all the clichés that are used to increase the tension between the characters they have to understand to manage their faith, unfortunately you need a lot of historical background knowledge on 19th century till cold war to understand all the details, but that is only another good reason to start studying this.
The movie also shows that every specific cultural background has it's advantages closely tied to its disadvantages, e.g. the heroism advantage of attack eaten up by a lack of rationality (for example due to alcoholism/boredom). Actually, this movie should be screened as an example for success for conflicts of international companies, global organizations or just humans between the frontiers of different cultures.
And if this is too educational for you: It is even great entertainment, if you are just watch it from a pure emotional point of view. Myself being a German I would wish that we still can show of some of the engineering mastership that Dorfner shows of - however I'm happy that no technocrats are now ruling my country.
In the end: What a masterpiece!
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