Thursday, April 21, 2011

Saints & Soldiers

The movie is based on actual historic events.
Based on actual WWII events, the award-winning "Saints and Soldier" tells the dramatic story of a small band of Allied soldiers trapped behind enemy lines with information that could save thousands of allied lives. Out-gunned and ill-equipped, they must now battle a frigid wilderness and roving German troops to smuggle the critical intelligence back to allied territory. 

In mid-December 1944, Hitler's Army charges through the Ardennes Forest in Belgium, initiating the offensive that will come to be known as the Battle of the Bulge. The German soldiers open fire on the unarmed prisoners, in the tragic event now known as the Malmedy Massacre. 

Corporal Nathan "Deacon" Greer, his friend Gordon Gunderson and a handful of others survive the massacre by playing dead and escaping into the nearby woods. The small band of soldiers come across stranded British intelligence officer Oberon Winley, who has valuable information to be delivered to Allied forces, increasing the urgency of their already desperate situation. The group forms a fragile bond as they begin to trust each other. But the constant threat of capture, as well as mounting suspicions of a German sympathizer within the group, threaten to tear them apart. 

Now with few weapons, no food and a strained camaraderie, this tiny band must take on the unforgiving winter and a forest filled with enemy troops to fight their way back to Allied occupied territory.
Very good acting. Interesting to see each character develop and to see how their individual views on themselves and their enemies change as circumstances become more and more complex. The movie delivers a clear message: in war, as in life, stuff happens and there is not always a clear line between right and wrong, between humane and inhumane. Though “Saints and Soldiers” is a rather low budget movie without the luxury of cool special effects like in “Thin Red Line”, “Saving Private Ryan” and a number of movies in the same style like “Flags of our fathers” and “Battle of Iwo jima”, so they had to compensate with good acting and good story, though a rather simple one.
By now the movie has won 14 “Best Picture” awards. It is well crafted, thought provoking and moving picture. Photography is excellent. A lot of attention is paid to smallest details, which makes the movie very believable. Then again, a lot of modern war movies do that. For all the deficiencies, the movie is worth watching for its humanitarian message. (copied & edited from maximovie)

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