This week I am focused on the movie requirements “A Thin Red Line”. This film was very hard to follow. I think that how they presented it, it was on a great topic, but just not put together in a sequence that made sense. It was still good to see how life was portrayed in a different point and time. I had wondered on many occasions why it was necessary to have so much required reading, movies, and assignments, but I think that I understand now how important it is to see things from different perspectives. World War II holds historical importance, and sometimes the history books cannot portray the true events that took place during that war. If one has never experienced war, they are blinded to the real sacrifices that were made. I never would be the person who would want to be in the situation to have to fight a war. Afraid for my life, and the lives of my friends.
Watching Private Witt and his interaction with the village people in Guadalcanal made me wonder if there was more to his kindness. He stated his mother had died, but he seemed to be interested in the mother child interaction. However, because he was an army man, the kids were scared of him. You learn he went AWOL, and that was his reason for being on the island. Clearly it was a much better option for him to spend time with the people in peace than to fight in the war he signed up to fight. This also made me wonder more about the life of a soldier. What could possibly motivate an individual to sign up to fight in a war if they were not certain they could do it? You have to know that at any time, you could be required to travel to a war zone and your life could be taken. That is a very scary thought. I know people sacrifice their lives to fight for freedom and for what is right, but seeing Witt’s disconnect makes me wonder if he really knew.
I also cannot help but wonder if movies like “The Thin Red Line” were available for viewers during this time period. Again, cinema has come a long way from mere entertainment to purpose and cause. Documentaries were at one time the way that learning was visualized, now it is a means of entertainment. But if these soldiers that fought in WWII had saw how war was portrayed cinematically, would they still have been willing to join? Really I would assume that soldiers in WWI and WWII were very naive to what war was. Yes playing with guns and sneaking up on the enemy could be appealing. The idea of fighting for your rights is also an inviting idea. But if they thought about having to kill people, and staying awake at night to keep from being killed, that is a very different idea of what war really is. So if they had movies like this, would they still have joined?
The C-company was led by two very different men. Tall who was in some ways excited by the danger of battle and was ready to fight. The other man was Staros. He did not seem like he was eager to fight, but was very concerned about protecting his troops. Cleary these leadership styles are very different. Personally I felt that I would relate better to Staros type of leadership because he was concerned about his people. Ideally this means that he would have their respect too and they would work harder. I know that when someone looks out for me, I instinctively have a certain amount of respect for them because of that. The desire to fight usually does not promote the best interest of the people, it usually is more focused on winning. So casualties is not as relevant as the win. The movie seemed like they favored that type of mentality because they promoted him and moved the other one.
The C-company was moving in on the enemy and they had the Japanese troops surrounded. They were excited with the idea of overrunning one of Japan’s strong hold on the island. However as they moved in they saw the troops were already half and malnourished. The victory that they thought they had really was not a victory. Could the C-company be given the victory of the battle when it was basically handed to them? Their enemies were fighting in such horrific conditions, the men were basically dead based on lack of resources. I do fully understand that this was not an American company, but is still shows the difficulties of war. Had these men been in their home country would they have been that malnourished? Would they have been deprived of food, water, and the basic necessities of life? They sacrificed to fight for their countries too, but the terms were far less favorable than that of the U.S.
Within this movie Life and death of wartime is very visible. One of the main focuses in this movie was Witt. He clearly was questioning his position within this war, and the movie showed two different directions in which he could choose. A simple life with the island people, or return to the war he committed to fight in, even though he questioned his decision. If Witt stayed with his decision to go AWOL, would he have died a hero, or lived a long full life? This makes me strongly question his decision to go back. Witt is able to distract the Japanese troops and pull them away from the rest of his company while they are being warned of their surprise attack. When given the option to surrender he throws up his gun, and the enemies open fire. Witt, the one who credibility as a soldier was questioned, ended up sacrificing his life to save the others. There are two sides to this, the heroic and the stupid. This is a part of war, and it is very important for the viewers to understand that sometimes life and death is determined on the well-being of others.
This movie also makes the viewer’s think about the other sacrifices that are made outside of risking their lives. Bell was a perfect example. We all have family, friends, and love interests that would be left behind if we made the decision to go and fight for our country. This would be a tremendous sacrifice alone. They would be at home worry about my well-being, and I would be at war missing them. One of the worst betrayals would be having them forget about me while I am fighting for their safety. Bill clearly longed to return to his wife. His love for her was clearly visible, and while he was honoring his commitment to fight for his country, his heart was somewhere else. However, her love was not nearly as strong in his time of absence. Bill receives a letter from his wife who wants a divorce because she has fallen in love with someone else. This was almost heart-breaking to watch because I could imagine how horrible that would be. But this is something we see and hear about even to date when it comes to soldiers being away in a time of war.
I think that most importantly over the events of the movie was the purpose behind which the movie was created. Cinematic war films can allow the viewers to see how the war is in depth. The environment, the soldiers, the sacrifice and so much more. Cinema tells us so much more about war than what we knew before. Again, the most notable wars are clearly documented in history books and classroom learning. But the details include the major battles, leaders, and ultimately who won. But committing to fight is a war is far more than that. It is a personal sacrifice for every individual who is in that war. They leave their safe homes, their families, their friends with the understanding they may not return the same or even at all. They lose their friends in war and there are many innocent casualties for both sides in the battle. This is an important part of the war that we as viewers need to be made aware of. This movie was hard to watch and hard to follow, but it was necessary. I feel that this has changed my views on war and everything that is involved with it.