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Documentary | War

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5 February 2000 (Netherlands)  »

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Featured in Allemaal film: Zoeken naar de werkelijkheid (2007) See more »

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War veterans recall songs that proved to be epiphanous or a salve in their post-war existences.
2 January 2003 | by See all my reviews

Deeply moving account of dutch war veterans from recent conflicts (the Congo, Bosnia/Herzogovina etc.) who are struggling to come to terms with their post-war lives. The crutch many of them use is music, specifically a single song, which either kept them going while they were on active duty or is a rooting experience for them as they recall the horrors of their war experiences. One well-groomed officer of a UN unit composed of Dutch enlisted men, looks at first glance to be a well-balanced listener of say, classical music, although he uses Seal's song "Crazy" to recall how he had to stand by with his unarmed unit in former Yugoslavia as paramilitaries machine-gunned the inhabitants of a village in an adjacent building; another, a private, recalls driving his lorry through a sniper-infested route, as his song (can't remember it now) blared into his eardrums giving him the courage to keep going. Very unobtrusive directing by dutch master Honigmann and the recollections -- often tearful, as she keeps the camera on the veterans while the music plays -- are as powerful and damning an anti-war indictment as you're likely to see.


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