War

Gabriele Salvatores – Mediterraneo (1991)

Quote:
Greek Sea, World War II. An Italian ship leaves a handful of soldiers in a little island; their mission is to spot enemy ships and to hold the island in case of attack. The village of the island seems abandoned and there isn’t a single enemy in sight, so the soldiers begin to relax a little. Things change when their ship is hit and destroyed by the enemy, and the soldiers find themselves abandoned there. Actually, the island isn’t deserted and when the Greeks understand that those Italians are harmless, they came out of their hiding places in the mountains and continue their peaceful lives. Soon the soldiers discover that being left behind in a God-forgotten Greek island isn’t such a bad thing, after all… Read More »

Shôhei Imamura – Nippon Sengoshi – Madamu onboro no Seikatsu AKA Postwar History of Japan as Told by a Bar Hostess (1970) (DVD)

Quote:
The star of this documentary is a quintessential Imamura heroine: a hard-nosed, ruthless survivor, with a sense of loyalty and an earthy sense of humor. In this movie, she sits in a Tokyo bar, which she used to own, and tells the story of the various means she used to survive, beginning with the day the atom bomb fell. It is a history of compromises and hard deeds, though there are few outright betrayals. Read More »

Ousmane Sembene – Camp de Thiaroye AKA The Camp at Thiaroye (1987)

“It’s possible that a good half of the greatest African movies ever made are the work of novelist-turned-filmmaker Ousmane Sembene (Black Girl, Xala, Ceddo). Camp Thiaroye (1988), cowritten and codirected by Thierno Faty Sow, recounts an incident that occurred in 1944. Returning from four years of European combat in the French army, Senegalese troops are sent to a transit camp, where they have to contend with substandard food and other indignities. An intellectual sergeant major (Ibrahima Sane) gets thrown out of a local bordello when he goes there for a drink; mistaken for an American soldier, he’s arrested and beaten by American MPs, which provokes his men into kidnapping an American GI. Then when the Senegalese troops discover that they’re about to be cheated out of half their back pay, they launch a revolt. Read More »

Armand Gatti – L’Enclos AKA Enclosure (1961)

This prison camp drama by director and co-scripter Armand Gatti, his first film, reflects the early ’60s resurgence of interest in the crimes against humanity committed by the Nazis in World War II. (In another year, the Adolph Eichmann trial would be the first ever seen live on American television.) Gatti focuses on two men in a German concentration camp who have been cruelly penned inside an enclosure. One of the men, Karl (Herbert Wochinz), is a strong, bitter anti-Nazi German — a target of the Gestapo. The SS wants information on a rumored organization of resistance fighters inside the prison and they know he has it. The other man, David (Jean Negroni) is a Jew. If one of the men dies within a certain time then the other will be released. He will not be killed. Otherwise, both will be executed. The resistance fighters in the prison try to help the two as best they can, while the pair inside the enclosure slowly come to know each other as though they were brothers. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide Read More »

Mikhail Kalatozov – Nepobedimye aka The Invincible (1943)


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Summary:
The autumn of 1941. Leningrad is besieged by the Nazis. A new model of tank is being developed at a large defense plant. Built in the shortest possible time combat vehicles are tested directly on battlefields, fighting with fascists in the outskirts of the city.
The first feature film about the heroic everyday life of city defenders was shot directly in assembly shops of plants and in the streets of Leningrad when the city was fighting against the enemy Read More »

Serge Bozon – La France (2007)



Quote:
Vive La France by Serge Bozon, a heady experiment full of soul that more than delivers on the allegorical chutzpah of its title. On receiving a troubling letter from her husband, a soldier in the First World War, Camille (Sylvie Testud) sets off to find him incognito, chopping her coif and wrapping her boobs to pass as a lad of 17. Deep in a forest landscape rendered with limpid concentration by cinematographer Céline Bozon, she falls in with a clutch of soldiers mobilized to the front. Or so it seems: Strange things are afoot in La France—like the spontaneous performance of twee, jangling ballads, rendered on scrap-yard acoustic instruments and sung, from an unabashed female perspective, by the harmonizing grunts. Weirder than the arrival of these inexplicable neo-retro-folk jams is how seamlessly they fit into Bozon’s melancholic war fable. Which is to say La France invents a curious and confident hybrid mode to accommodate, even reconcile, disparate modes and strategies: war film and musical, elegiac and avant-garde, cerebral and poignant, rigorous and flexible. Read More »

Joris Ivens & Marceline Loridan Ivens – Le 17e parallèle: La guerre du peuple AKA 17th Parallel: Vietnam in War (1968)

On the border of North and South Vietnam, civilians live underground and cultivate their land in the dead of night, farmers take up arms, and bombs fall like clockwork. Joris Ivens and Marceline Loridan’s record of daily life in one of the most volatile regions of a war-torn, divided country is both a hazardous piece of first-hand journalism and a shattering work in its own right, simmering with barely repressed anger.

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