This time around there is quite a range of World War 2 era movies and documentaries, plus a few others worth your time.
City of Life and Death (2009)
The Gritty true story of the Rape of Nanking in 1937 by the Japanese. Some great urban battle scenes of the Chinese rag tag guerillas attempting to stop the Japanese juggernaut as it marched through China. The barbarism of the Japanese during this time is appalling, with over 300,000+ civilians and POW’s murdered. Subtitled in Black and White.
My Way (2011)
Another amazing true story of a Korean and Japanese soldier (both were competing olympic sprinters) who were captured by the Soviets in the Sino-Soviet War in Manchuria, sent to a Russian Work Camp, then conscripted into the Soviet Army in 1943, where they were eventually captured by the Germans and sent to Normandy, where they were discovered by American Forces on D-Day, 1944. Subtitled.
Back to 1942 (2012)
Story of horrific famine and War in China in early 1940’s. Adrian Brody (The Pianist) stars as an American Journalist trying to get local and global attention to these people’s suffering. One of those movies that makes you realize that however BAD you may think your life is, it does not hold a candle to what these poor people endured! Subtitled.
Warriors of the Rainbow (2011)
I like movies whose subject matter is struggle against OPPRESSION, no matter the odds! This is a story of the native aboriginal Taiwanese Seediq tribe and their fight against Imperial Japanese occupation in the 1930’s. Subtitled.
Generation War (2013)
A 3 Part German Mini-Series that tells the story of a group of 5 friends (Two of them Wermacht soldiers, one of them a Jew, one of them a German nurse and another an actress) and their harrowing experiences during WW2. A unique WW2 movie told from the perspective of the German. Some good urban battle scenes in Russia. Subtitled.
The Ghost Army (2013)
The story of a little known US Army Unit in WW2: “The 23rd HQ: Special Troops”. This collection of artist, sculptors, set designers and engineers waged war against Hitler and his nazi war machine in a special way: Deception. One of the better War documentaries I have watched lately..definitely worth your time. A PBS Special Narrated by Peter Coyote.
Beneath Hill 60 (2010)
Gutsy and gritty true story of an Australian tunnelers Unit in WW1. Composed entirely of civilian miners, this unit was responsible for digging tunnels under the German lines while at the same time, preventing the Germans from tunneling under French/English Lines. Nasty battle scenes and an awesome story. Not enough movies are made about WW1 IMO, and this is a great one to start with!
A more modern tale of an Israeli fighter Pilot being shot down over Beiruit in the 1982 Lebanon War. Once captured by the PLO, the pilot (Stephen Dorff) is assisted in escape by a young palestinian boy who escorts him out of the war-torn city. This is more of a ell-good drama than a war movie, but it is still good IMO, as it shows a period of history that has not been very popular with film makers for a long time. Subtitled.
Outside the Law (2010)
I will warn you ahead of time: this movie is Arabic and subtitled throughout. If the arabic language bothers you (some say it sounds like somebody talking while hacking on a popcorn husk in their throat) then don’t watch it! It tells the story of 3 Algerian Brothers and the fight of Algerian Independence from France from 1945 to 1962. It goes into great detail how the FLN (Algerian National Liberation Front) evolved and fought with Guerilla tactics (both in France and Algeria) against the French government. A must for any serious student studying the History and various applications of Guerilla Warfare. Subtitled.
For those of you who like swordplay and the lopping off of heads, this 11th century English tale is for you. Historically, it is set against the backdrop of the notorious reign of King John and the 3 year war against him by English Barons (aided by the Knights Templar) that eventually led to the signing of the Magna Carta. A decent action flick with gritty battle scenes and some decent actors to boot: Paul Giamatti and Brian Cox to name a couple.
Bravo Two Zero (1999)
This is a rather old movie (1999), but still a good one. It is based on two books, both by real-world SAS operators who were there: Bravo Two Zero by Steven Mitchell (pen name: Andy McNab) and The One that got Away by Colin Armstrong (pen name: Chris Ryan) the movie chronicles the 1991 story of a SAS patrol team and their mission to go behind Iraqi Lines to find and destroy SCUD missile Launchers to pave the way for the main ground assault. But of course, things go sideways in a hurry, and the team has to fight their way out. If you like British war movies, with all their pomp, this one fits the bill.
I wanted to throw in a decent science fiction/ post-apocalyptic movie for those of you who like such genres, (as I do myself). This one is set in (would you have guessed it!!) post-apocalyptic 2016 Germany. Solar flares have destroyed the earths atmosphere and risen daily temps to scorching hot! Although I was disappointed how the plot eventually ended up (I won’t spoil it, but the ideal IS NOT Original as far as Post-Apocalyptic movies go). Overall, a decent but not great movie. Subtitled.