War

Vladimir Denisenko – Sovist AKA Conscience (1968)

Quote:
The story is set in a small village during the German occupation of Ukraine. When one of the local partisans kills a German officer, the occupants vow to kill the whole village if the perpetrator is not found and delivered to them. What would your conscience tell you to do if the choice was between your own life and that of an entire village? Conscience is a striking combination of expressionistic, metaphorical images and dramaturgic realism, and the soundtrack darkens the mood. Due to the film’s themes, it did not see wide release until perestroika. Made by students of the directing-acting workshop of Vladimir Denisenko at the Kiev National I. K. Karpenko-Kary Theatre, Cinema and Television University, it was only allowed to be made because it was never to be screened. Nowadays, the film is considered a classic of Ukrainian cinema. Read More »

    Nobuhiko Ôbayashi – Labyrinth of Cinema (2019)

    Quote:
    The story centers on a group of young people who travel back in time when they are in a movie theater just before closing time. They witness deaths during the closing days of Japan’s feudal times and on the battlefront in China before they are sent to Hiroshima just before the Aug. 6, 1945, atomic bombing of the city. Read More »

      Zdravko Velimirovic – Vrhovi Zelengore AKA The Peaks of Zelengore (1976)

      Quote:
      During the Battle of Sutjeska, partisan troops must endure 24 hours of big and heavy attacks on German units Ljubino grave, to the main Partisan units, with the wounded and the Supreme Headquarters, pulled out the ring that is tightened around them. Read More »

        Gillo Pontecorvo – La battaglia di Algeri AKA The Battle of Algiers (1966)

        Quote:
        The most electrifyingly timely movie playing in New York was made in 1965. Gillo Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers is famous, but for some time it’s been available only in washed-out prints with poorly translated, white-on-white subtitles. The newly translated and subtitled 35-millimeter print at Film Forum is presumably the version that was privately screened in August for military personnel by the Pentagon as a field guide to fighting terrorism. Former national-security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski volunteered this blurb: “If you want to understand what’s happening right now in Iraq, I recommend The Battle of Algiers.” I wonder if these politicos are aware that Pontecorvo’s epic was once used by the Black Panthers as a training film? In fact, not much in the current Iraq situation is historically comparable to the late-fifties Algerian struggle for independence dramatized in The Battle of Algiers, but its anatomy of terror remains unsurpassed—and, woefully, ever fresh. Read More »

          France Stiglic – Dolina miru AKA Valley of Peace (1956)

          A boy and a rather younger girl lost their families in an air raid. They have heard about a valley where there is always peace and fancy that this is the house of the boy’s uncle. They start wandering for the valley. At the same time an airplane is shot down and the black American pilot jumped by parachute. He finds the children at a ford. There is absolutely no danger. But the girl is standing in the middle of the river, scared and crying and neither daring to go forth or back. The pilot cannot abandon the children although they will reduce his chance of escaping. Both the Germans and the partisans know that the pilot had survived. Who will find him first? Several things happen in rapid succession. The children and the pilot find the uncle’s house, which had since a long time been abandoned. The Germans arrive and catch the pilot. The partisans attack and liberate the pilot, who joins them. But during the fight he is soon deadly wounded and orders the children to run away…. Read More »

            Mario Monicelli – Le rose del deserto AKA The Roses of the Desert (2006)

            A sanitary battalion of Italian Army is sent to Sorman oasis in Lybia during the Africa campaign in 1940. Soon an Italian missionary, living nearby, succeed to transform the occupation by Italian Army in a kind of humanitarian mission. In fact all the battalion is involved to help the local population. The war anyway goes on with no regards to human feelings. The “glorious” Fascist campaign is going to became a fast retreat. Read More »

              Tun Fei Mou – Hei tai yang: Nan Jing da tu sha AKA Black Sun: The Nanking Massacre (1995)

              Black Sun: The Nanking Massacre is an uncompromising portrayal of the war crimes perpetrated by the Japanese Imperial Army upon the Chinese military and civilian population of Nanking during the occupation of the city. Hailed by critics as one of the most disturbing films ever released, Black Sun: The Nanking Massacre is unflinching in its depiction of the barbaric cruelty with which the occupying army raped, pillaged and terrorized the defeated populace. Read More »