Sunday, February 24, 2008

Unintentional Ironies

If you get a chance, please do see the fantastic 1980 Australian film Breaker Morant. It's war movie and a trial movie, and what more do you really want? It also has that thing that sometimes happens, where lines intended with one meaning have another when you watch them. My example here, is when a junior officer yells at his superior about shooting a missionary, and gets back the yelled rejoinder "It's a new war, George! A new war for a new century!" Which brings us to our 21st century warfare, where we debate about wiretap and torture. In Breaker Morant, we're expected to sympathize with the railroaded Australian soldiers, who committed war crimes, who killed Boers in cold blood because "it's the first war in which our enemies didn't wear uniforms, where they're women and children."

It's a much more uncomfortable movie than when I watched it the first time.

Even with all that, with all the modern contaminants and moral quandaries of our age, the story of 2 officers railroaded for following their C.O's orders is a sad and powerful one. Please rent it if you have a spare night to watch it in.

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