Finding Meaning in War

As a journalist I try to avoid writing about my ‘other’ work. I feel too jaded and often cynical about films and our industry. But tonight I saw something that brought my two worlds together. A film called Armadillo did, what I believe documentary should do. It made me question the meaning of something. It made me question war.

We have been fighting in Afghanistan for 10 years now, so long there will soon be a generation that won’t even know why we are there. However this film does leave us to ponder that, but who to question our actions there. It does this by imbedding us with a Danish platoon in the Helmand province. Unlike press reports we garner from journalists embedded with troops Armadillo does not give us a snapshot of war but 104 minutes of it.

What you see is unlike the reality often depicted. There are a lot of patrols, boredom and testosterone that can’t wait to get out. When the platoon loses three men in an ambush they retaliate with their own dawn raid. An eye for an eye. Or in this case three eyes for four.

The adrenalin rush gives way to bragging and while the audience is left to digest the fruits of their labour, I could not help but become overwhelmed by sadness. These young men, were now cold killers, just like their enemy.

All I kept thinking on the way home was, what is the meaning of all this?

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