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A War

(Danish with subtitles) – Claus commands a small unit in Afghanistan whose mission is to protect civilians from the Taliban. During one of the missions, the unit comes under heavy fire, and Claus makes a decision; the impact of that decision forms the basis of the story. This is a very strong film that explores the context and impact of Claus’ decisions from multiple perspectives – his wife and three children in Denmark; the men who serve with him; the Afghanistan civilians with whom he comes in contact; the defense and prosecuting attorneys who pick apart the circumstances surrounding the decisions, trying to win their cases. The film does a great job of showing that determination of “right and wrong” in decisions can be messy and problematic given the circumstances. Big thumbs up for a film that is sometimes challenging to watch but thoroughly engaging in its details; it is definitely a “thinking” film. This director made another film (that I highly recommend), A Hijacking, about 3 years ago that was similar. That film succeeded where Captain Phillips, which came out the same year, did not in showing multiple perspectives of the hijacking of a freighter by Somali pirates. (4.5 stars; 2015)

About Gary Burkholder

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