War Heroes

21 January 2015
M-Net Movies looks at war heroes in film.
Red Tails (2012) Image Alamy

War is as old as time, but even more infamous than war is the obsession that Hollywood has in telling its stories. As morbid as it may seem, it’s a necessary task to tell the tales, both real and fictional, of those that gave their lives for the struggle of their ideals.

There are many amazing films about war that tell you about its horrors and its consequences, but M-Net Movies celebrates the heroes that rose from the ashes of war through these films.

Starting with the airborne battles of Red Tails. In this patriotic and uplifting war drama that also deals with civil rights' issues, a group of intrepid African-American men is sent into war, where they take to the skies and fight for their country. With a star-studded cast that includes the likes of Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Michael B. Jordan, Red Tails takes you into the brutal battles of the skies and shows you the bravery of these unsung heroes of World War II.

Next is the war epic Flags Of Our Fathers. Nominated for two Oscars, this Clint Eastwood film is part of a two-part movie series that looks at the Battle of Iwo Jima through the eyes of both American and Japanese soldiers. In this film Eastwood directs an all-star cast in a touching and tragic account of men from the American troops struggling with the demons of World War II.

Going back to ancient warfare we look at Troy. Based on Homer's great epic, Brad Pitt plays the iconic Greek hero Achilles in this grand tale of a war between two powerful nations - and a warrior who becomes a legend.

Taking a different look at the Gulf War is the movie Three Kings. This satirical action movie with George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube and Spike Jonze is set against the backdrop of the Gulf War. When four American soldiers learn about a cache of gold stolen from Kuwait, they decide to set out and steal it; but on the way they are turned into reluctant heroes.

Much is lost during war and The Monuments Men shows us that there is a cultural loss as well as the loss of life. George Clooney directs and acts in this star-studded film about a ragtag team of experts charged with rescuing art masterpieces stolen by Nazis during World War II. They sacrifice their lives to make sure that the heritage of a people is not lost to the memory of war.

War never ends cleanly and this is shown in the gripping drama, Emperor. Oscar winner Tommy Lee Jones stars in this captivating drama. As the Japanese surrender, the Emperor’s life lies in the balance as he is tried for various war crimes. But influencing Tommy Lee Jones’s ruling is his search to find a young exchange student he met years earlier in the U.S.

Feature image: Red Tails (2012) © Alamy