All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

This movie could be summed up quite well in one statement: "War is Hell".  I haven't seen too many anti-war films, and though I believe war is necessary in some instances (almost never in provoking, but primarily in defending) this film did a very good job of portraying the terrors of war.  Having never been in the military, I can't imagine how terrifying and desensitizing it can be on the war front, but can relate to the false concepts of power that seem to spread amongst those not directly involved.

The movie is set in Germany during WWI.  When Paul, a young German soldier, is allowed leave to visit his family he visits with his father and some of his father's friends who seem to have the war all worked out to be won by Germany.  They assumed that everyone fighting had a deep passion for the success of Germany and desire to dominate its enemies.  The reality was that a lot of the young kids that got fired up about the war really had no clue what they were fighting for or who they were fighting against and ended up regretting even being there.  They even began to see their enemies as human beings, not just political rivals.

One of the things I gleaned from the film is that we can't afford to be afraid of the truth.  We need to be willing to search out and listen to the whole truth from the mouth of those who have first-hand experience.  For instance, there are positive first-hand stories from the U.S. presence in Iraq and other places in the middle east that the mainstream media tends to ignore and instead panders to the political left by publishing nothing but horror stories of the over seas wars we are waging distorting the truth.

I also appreciated the depiction of the need for God in such dire circumstances.  Faith in God is what can ultimately bring us out of the darkest trenches of our lives and give us hope in Christ and courage to live righteously in this immoral and amoral world.

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