My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: "O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!"

01 November 2005

Movies - Saints & Soldiers

As always, I'm thankful to find a movie I can recommend with something approaching a whole heart. Saints and Soldiers is a WWII flick based on a true story. It begins with the Malmedy Massacre, a tragic slaying of 86 American prisoners by the Nazis. It follows with four escapees (there were 43 total in real life) trapped behind enemy lines with one gun and four bullets. From there they run into a downed English pilot who's in possession of information that could save many soldiers' lives if they can get him to friendly forces soon enough.

The story is a fine one, with meaningful characters and real dialogue. It brings some thoughtfulness about the nature of war and how men can come to kill each other with abandon. One of the men was, before the war, a missionary in Berlin - that, together with his personal tragedies, grants him a gentler and humane perspective on the war. The movie ramps up action-wise and emotionally, concluding very well with something nearing what we evangelicals might call a conversion.

The PG-13 is for some realistic violence (according to your scruples, it would be good for mature kids to see...sort of a toned-down Saving Private Ryan). The movie has won a basketful of awards and the cinematography is outstanding: stark and beautiful. Their website is well-done and as I poke around there, they have the soundtrack playing, which is quite good also.

I hope the passing of time and our proliferation of action movies and video games don't cause us to think less or little or not at all of the sacrifices of the soldiers of WWII. More than anything, movies which pay homage to our soldiers with humanity and without sensationalizing violence are something truly valuable from a medium so very rarely meaningful.

2 comments:

Dad O said...

As you probably know, your Grandpa was among those who fought in Europe.

Dad O

Jared said...

Yep. We've got that great picture of Grandpa sitting out beside his halftrack.

I'm sorry we never got to hear from him about it.