September 27, 2011
Last week, Kino on Video announced the release of the Danish war documentary Armadillo (Support the Independent Ethos, purchase on Amazon) in the US. I reviewed it during its theatrical run earlier this year:
With Armadillo, filmmaker Janus Metz Pedersen dives deep into the personalities of a handful of Danish volunteer soldiers who are assigned to an outpost near a Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan. From a filmmaking standpoint, the tension is palpable and human throughout. As a lesson in today’s current events, it remains relevant, as the Western allies continue to maintain a presence after the take-down of Osama Bin Laden, back in early May.
Armadillo truly demonstrates— in a visceral, real way— the cultural difficulties of entering a country to help people that are often hard to distinguish from the enemy. It also does an amazing job at capturing the influence of war on young minds. It’s theme is probably demonstrated best with this image of a wounded, once gung-ho soldier, which was actually used for the cover of the overseas release:
Rarely can a fictional movie capture the shock of the “real,” in the Lacanian sense, with a picture alone. Aramdillo is more than a movie: it’s an experience.