A Country As Ugly As War Itself

by Leonard Pierce

“Walk in my footsteps.  It’ll be easier.”

François Truffaut’s conundrum about the impossibility of making an anti-war film has been reheated and turned over until it’s become inedible; a fresher tidbit for us to chew on is how national cinemas portray war based on their own experiences of it. In the first century and a half of film, it has been the American cinema (and to a lesser extent, the British) that has focused more on the glory and grandeur of war, while the Continent and Asia, with more firsthand experience of its intolerable devastation, make movies that focus on the human cost rather than the moral victories to be gained.

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