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VIDEO ESSAY: War Movies for People Who Don't Like War Movies

Press Play By Kevin B. Lee | Press Play May 27, 2012 at 3:55PM

There’s no such thing as a truly anti-war film, Francois Truffaut once said. By depicting the adventure and thrill of combat, war movies can’t help but glorify their subject, fueling fantasies of spectacular, heroic violence. It’s a case where the sensational beauty of cinema works against our humanist impulses rather than for them. I’m not a fan of war movies as a general matter of principle. But in recent years, I’ve seen a couple of films with unique approaches to the war movie, and that bring humanity back into focus.
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There’s no such thing as a truly anti-war film, Francois Truffaut once said. By depicting the adventure and thrill of combat, war movies can’t help but glorify their subject, fueling fantasies of spectacular, heroic violence. It’s a case where the sensational beauty of cinema works against our humanist impulses rather than for them. I’m not a fan of war movies as a general matter of principle. But in recent years, I’ve seen a couple of films with unique approaches to the war movie, and that bring humanity back into focus.

Originally published on Fandor Keyframe. For a full transcript visit Keyframe.

Kevin B. Lee is Editor in Chief of IndieWire’s PressPlay Video Blog, Video Essayist for Fandor Keyframe, and contributor to Roger Ebert.com. Follow him on Twitter.

This article is related to: Video, video essay


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