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Flags of Our Fathers - what the movie teaches us

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Ava Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-11-06 03:59 PM
Original message
Flags of Our Fathers - what the movie teaches us
Edited on Sat Nov-11-06 04:56 PM by Ava
Review: Flags of Our Fathers
and what the movie teaches us



Flags of Our Fathers" (directed by Clint Eastwood and produced by Steven Spielberg) is a film about the Battle of Iwo Jima and the notorious raising of the American flag that took place on that island. The movie is based on the book with the same title written by Jame Bradley, the son of John Bradly - one of the flag raisers. This movie is not another glorifying story of war, it's is the tragic story of the five Marines and Navy corpsman who raised an American flag on top of Mt. Suribachi during the grueling Battle of Iwo Jima. It is told from the perspective of one of those men and other veterans of the now infamous battle of World War II.




When we look at the photo of the flag raising we see a patriotic, courageous, and heroic group of young men. When the photo was first published in newspapers it gave Americans a sense of hope and more importantly it tragically gave many a false view of war and what happened on Iwo Jima. Young men were being killed, tortured, and having to witness the horrible and haunting truths of war, but we saw a photo and completely forgot and ignored this. Those who took part in the battle, including the flag raisers didn't. They could not.


John Bradley was one of the flag raisers of Iwo Jima and a main character in "Flags of Our Fathers." He was tormented by his memories of the battle. His wife Betty said he wept in his sleep for many years and he kept a large knife "for protection." His post traumatic stress disorder(PTSD) caused him to have flashbacks of his friend "Iggy," who was kidnapped and tortured during the battle. Like most who suffer from PTSD he did not like talking about his role in Iwo Jima.




After seeing the movie I instantly though of James Blake Miller, who became an icon when this photo was published in newspapers across the country. He instantly became known as "Marlboro Man" and the famous photo became a symbol of the Iraq war - much like the flag raising photo became for the Battle of Iwo Jima and WWII. We did not know the story of the man in the photo. We were much too busy labeling him a hero and using his photo to give us a false comfort about the war effort.


Like John Bradley and the other two survivors of Iwo Jima - Iraq Hayes and Rene Gagnon - Miller was asked to leave the war in Iraq to ensure the new public poster boy wasn't killed in combat. But James stayed. He doesn't talk much about the brutal days of combat he witnessed and like Bradley he is haunted by his memories. James now suffers from PTSD - but most Americans who saw the "Marlboro Man" photo don't know this or realize the real story behind the photo - the story of James Blake Miller's experience in Iraq.


War is not glorious like the flag raising photo of Iwo Jima or the "Marlboro Man" photo from Iraq make it out to be. Only those in the photos and those who witness war truly know what it is. Empathy can't exit without first taking the time to learn the story of those who you are trying to empathize with. Veterans returning from war don't see themselves or want to be seen as heroes. What they need is for the American people to understand that they have witnessed the terrible and tragic realities of war and then we must allow them to move on. This is what "Flags of Our Fathers" is about and that is why many people need to see it and learn from it. Maybe once we understand what our troops must go through during war we will be less hasty when waging it.
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fooj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-11-06 04:12 PM
Response to Original message
1. Hi Ava...
Thank you for all of the hard work you did to raise awareness across this country! Your videos are a somber reminder to us all...

You give me hope. I am a high school teacher and there are many of "you" out there. I'm so glad that you have the courage to lift your voice and speak TRUTH to power. ((((((((hugs))))))))


:hug:
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Ava Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-11-06 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. thank you fooj
:hug:
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-11-06 04:12 PM
Response to Original message
2. "War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning" - Chris Hedges. You could
Edited on Sat Nov-11-06 04:16 PM by Hissyspit
add Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman to your post, Ava. From some reviews of that book: : "Hedges does not argue that war gives us meaning, just that it seems to, and this meaning is ..." http://www.amazon.com/War-Force-that-Gives-Meaning/dp/1400034639
http://www.amazon.com/War-Force-that-Gives-Meaning/dp/customer-reviews/1400034639
Hedges argues that the comaraderie of men in battle is largely falsely imposed, or maybe is a perversion of true comaraderie (or something like that. It's been a while since I read it.) because it is an EXTREME form of social interaction and conflict.

I'm going to use that New York Post cover in my classes. It was discusting then, but even more disgusting in light of what has become of Fallujah since and what we know of phosphorus use, etc.

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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-11-06 04:29 PM
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3. .
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