Apr. 3rd, 2010

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This film was intense.

The film takes place in Germany in World War I, where a group of young men are convinced by their professor to join the army for honour, glory, and protecting the fatherland. And then it shows, fairly graphically (esp. for 1930!) the horrors of war as they are sent and endure the trench warfare of the Western Front.

This movie based on the novel of the same name, which I have not read, but it stands on it's own as a powerful film and is even somewhat difficult to watch in parts. The sounds of exploding mortars and the whistling of bombs is nearly maddening just to watch for a few minutes, never mind to experience for months on end.

I liked that the soldiers were portrayed as German, as otherwise the film would give a very 'oh, woe are our soldiers, and Germany is so evil' vibe, but instead it comes across as just how horrible it was for everyone. Although, the actors who portray them are very American, and have that indefinable charm that American actors had in the first half of the century.

Honestly, the movie is quite depressing, and does not end on a high note. I would probably not watch it again because it's a somewhat difficult watch, but I'm glad to have seen it. It's intense, powerful, moving, and does a good job of portraying the horrors of war. I, personally, did not know that much about World War I (overshadowed mostly by World War II), but this film would have been made when The Great War was still fresh in everyone's mind. Recommended, but don't watch if you're already in a bad mood ;)

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