"The War Doesn’t End When a Soldier Returns Home"
What You Need To Know:
A WAR takes a fresh spin on the Afghan war, told from the perspective of a Danish soldier. It’s shot from the soldier’s view. This creates a heightened sense of realism and provides an insightful look into the internal battles soldiers face. The director has a gift for creating deep empathy, including hiring real soldiers for some roles, to further heighten his movie’s sense of realism. The movie also contains poignant scenes of the soldier’s wife dealing at home alone with their three children. A WAR has a strong moral, redemptive worldview extolling love, compassion, duty, and family, but the war violence requires extreme caution.
(BB, PP, CC, FR, L, VVV, S, A, D, M) Strong moral worldview, with patriotic soldiers bring justice to Afghanistan families threatened by the Taliban, soldiers show compassion toward Afghanistan families war would otherwise call the enemy, with supporting Christian, redemptive elements promoting faith, love, forgiveness, and family, plus some references to Islam; seven obscenities and profanities; strong and very strong war violence includes blood spills from soldier’s mouth, wounded men vomit blood, extreme brutality, lots of gun violence, bloody body parts shown, snipers shot often, bombs blow up people in the distance, wounded soldier’s leg detaches from his body, soldier’s wounded arm bleeds excessively, and dead children and parents displayed; light sexual interaction between husband and wife, husband and wife kiss in airport, husband runs his hands over wife’s back, wife grabs a cigarette from husband with her lips in a sexual manor; no nudity; soldiers drink one beer each to pass time; soldiers smoke cigarettes during free time, wife smokes alone when stressed; and, innocent people die and soldiers forced to kill other humans.
A WAR is a movie from about one father’s internal battle between his job as a commander and his role as a husband and father back home.
Commander Claus Pedersen is stationed with Denmark’s armed forces in Afghanistan, where he’s forced to lead a group of soldiers into the deserted desert of uncertainty daily. Claus is a respected leader and noble man. He takes time to talk with the Afghanistan children and listens to concerned Afghanistan parents. While some soldiers blow off these people, categorizing all Afghanis as the enemy, Claus demonstrates compassion towards them. When he’s not on the battlefield, he tries to be a committed father to his children and husband to his wife. Yet, miles away from home, short phone calls are the only time he gets to interact with them, causing great turmoil in his heart as he longs to be with his family.
Back at home, his wife Maria is struggling too. She’s the mother to three small children on her own. Her middle son, angry and hurt that dad is gone, has become a troublemaker at school and is often sent to the office for biting people. He always fights with her the daughter, while her the youngest one is a handful. One evening her youngest son accidentally swallows a handful of pills. Maria rushes him to the emergency room where she watches the doctors pump her baby’s stomach as he cries for his daddy. Through this heartbreaking scene, viewers get a glimpse into the life of a soldier’s wife. It sheds light on one of the movie’s reoccurring themes: – that the life of a solider affects everyone’s life, not just his own.
Maria’s son ends up being okayall right, and she is grateful when she finds out her husband is coming home soon. A few days later, Claus is greeted at the airport by his wife and kids. Later that night after the kids children are asleep, Claus and Maria share a deep, romantic moment. They stare at each other intimately and hug for a prolonged time. There is no nudity or explicit sexual content in this scene, which merely poignantly showcases their deep love for one another and how grateful they are just to hug each other. This touching scene displays the hardship a family feels when a soldier is away from home. Not long after Claus is back home with his family, he’s called to court.
During war, Claus ordered a bomb to be dropped on a building without concrete permission. During the heat of war, while one of his soldiers lay wounded and close to death in his arms, he made the decision to bomb a place he was certain was filled with terrorists, but he was wrong. He ended up bombing a building filled with 11 innocent victims, eight of which were children.
The rest of the movie is a series of intense court scenes where the jury is left to decide his fate. The persecutor says Claus should be sent to prison for life. Claus begins to think he should too. However, his lawyer and wife order him to remain silent and admit he thought he had orders. Maria tells him he can’t let himself get attached to a deceased family when his living one is still here.
Will Claus be convicted?
A WAR leaves viewers with a deep empathy toward soldiers and their families back home, providing a poignant into their internal struggles. A soldier’s life doesn’t end when the war ends. For some, it’s just the beginning.
A WAR has a strong moral worldview with Christian elements. It extols compassion, love, loyalty, duty, and family. Claus is a noble man caught in the wrong situation at the wrong time. The movie sheds light on the idea that even the best of men can make wrong decisions in the heat of war. The movie doesn’t specify whether it’s right to kill during war. It merely asks viewers to ask:, What would you do if your job was a soldier? The movie offers a deep sense of awareness into a soldier’s life and the array of emotions they endure while trying to remain strong. Despite its strong moral principles, A WAR contains an excess display of bloody war violence, intense gunfights and wounded soldiers, so extreme caution is advised.