War is so far out of my sphere of interest and knowledge, so this will potentially be a brief entry.
Naturally, War is a part of everyones daily lives, whether you choose to accept it or not. Whether it’s part of a bigger picture-Modern conflicts like Syria/Afghanistan/Iraq or more interpersonal fights-With a partner/friend/clerk. War is a word not to be used lightly, but often crops up in the most unlikely places. War seems to be a relative word really, one in which people seem to attatch their own specific cultural identities to. If you asked someone living in Cuba/Afghanistan what War means, I assure you that you’d get a markedly different response than a white British teenager (“Oh you mean when you shoot those commie bastards in the face in videogames? That was fucking rad”)
The Battle of Algiers (1965, dir. Gillo Pontecorvo) is a film which seems to take the idea of war to heart, in that it shows a community so tight knit, that they’re willing to live, die, steal-all for what they presume is the greater good. Albeit, I am not condoning either side as right or wrong. As a westerner, I naturally know nothing about war, outside of what I hear on the TV/Radio, and even that’s so controlled and regulated by modern media, I have to question whether what I see is really what’s happening, or whether it’s just “This is what we want you to see”. Which it is.
War, as mentioned, is something that carries a loaded meaning to different people. It’s hard to deny, however, that it’s something that brings people together. Whether it’s through fear, community, or a construction of a unified power and strength, War changes lives.
Movies dictate War as unbearably violent, and unbelievably…nice. While there’s a lot of deaths and gratuitous violence within, there’s always a sheen to it that makes it just within our range of comfort. And war is never nice. What could be entertaining about slaughtering people? Watchmen uses the cross character arguments between The Comedian and Manhattan with a strange role reversal. The Comedian is well known within this narrative for having a distinct misanthropy for the Vietnamese people while he’s there fighting, and enjoys the killing, whereas Manhattan sees it as a necessity, he does it for his country. This is switched later on when they’re in the bar, and Manhattan seems very distant, as he allows Blake to kill the Vietnamese woman. This creates a rift, and a contrast between the two characters, one who sees war as “fun” or some sort of “Hunt” who actually becomes more understanding.