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BOT's Top 50 Historical Fiction Films - The Countdown

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7 minutes ago, Plain Old Tele said:

Never figured Goffe would have a SOUND OF MUSIC rave. :lol:

tbf it was the only review in the thread and he only raved about the final 40 minutes :ph34r:

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"I am not the Zodiac. And if I were, I certainly wouldn't tell you."

 

Historical Setting: San Francisco, 1969

 

Source from this Period

 

"This is the Zodiac speaking

Up to the end of Oct I have killed 7 people. I have grown rather angry with the police for their telling lies about me. So I shall change the way the collecting of slaves. I shall no longer announce to anyone. When I comitt my murders, they shall look like routine robberies, killings of anger, & a few fake accidents, etc.

 

 

The police shall never catch me, because I have been too clever for them.

I look like the description passed out only when I do my thing, the rest of the time I look entirle different. I shall not tell you what my descise consists of when I kill


As of yet I have left no fingerprints behind me contrary to what the police say in my killings I wear transparent finger tip guards. All it is is 2 coats of airplane cement coated on my finger tips—quite unnoticible & very efective  my killing tools have been boughten through the mail order outfits before the ban went into efect. Except one & it was bought out of the state.


So as you can see the police don't have much to work on. If you wonder why I was wipeing the cab down I was leaving fake clews for the police to run all over town with, as one might say, I gave the cops som bussy work to do to keep them happy. I enjoy needling the blue pigs. Hey blue pig I was in the park—you were useing fire trucks to mask the sound of your cruzeing prowl cars. The dogs never came with in 2 blocks of me & they were to the west & there was only 2 groups of parking about 10 min apart then the motor cicles went by about 150 ft away going from south to north west."

- The Zodiac Killer Letters

 

Historical Context

 

"The seemingly random brutal murders of five people in California’s Bay Area in 1968 and 1969 and a series of taunting cryptic notes sent by their killer terrorized Northern California for years.  The self-proclaimed “Zodiac Killer” sent local newspapers a three-part coded message explaining his motive for the killings in 1969 and in a separate letter to the editor suggested his identity was buried within an elaborate cipher message. The decoded message did indeed reveal the killer’s twisted motive, but his identity remains a mystery.

 

The unsolved nature of the murders and the Zodiac Killer’s elaborate methods of communicating with the public and his pursuers still captures the imaginations of screenwriters, authors, true-crime buffs, forensic scientists, and, of course, law enforcement.  The murders did not fall under federal jurisdiction, so the FBI never opened an investigation. But a glance through the FBI’s public records on the case shows how local law enforcement agencies called on the FBI’s expertise in handwriting analysis, cryptanalysis, and fingerprints to aid their investigations.

 

The FBI’s role in 1969, much as it is today, was to support local law enforcement in their investigations. In the Zodiac Killer case, correspondence between law enforcement agencies in Northern California and forensic experts at the FBI’s Laboratory—in what was then called the Technical Evaluation Unit—shows our efforts to analyze handwriting samples and lift latent fingerprints from the letters and envelopes sent by the purported killer. FBI cryptanalysts, or code-breakers, were also enlisted to unravel a complex cipher that used more than 50 shapes and symbols to represent the 26 letters of the alphabet. Ultimately the code was made public and broken by two university professors."

- FBI Archives

 

Historical Accuracy

 

"The true crime story is one of the most enduring genres in film, but few entries are as specific in their attention to detail as David Fincher’s “Zodiac.” The movie just turned 11 years old last month, and Film Radar video essayist Daniel Netzel has marked the occasion with a fascinating new video investigation into “Zodiac’s” historical accuracy.  So what makes Fincher’s masterpiece the most accurate true crime film? As the video explains, Fincher went to great lengths to ensure the film was historically accurate, from recreating a period-accurate San Francisco to building sets that matched their real-word counterparts and even dressing the murder victims in the clothes they were wearing when they died. But the film is even more accurate than you might notice.  In the video below, Netzel layers Fincher’s footage over real interviews from eyewitnesses who were involved with the Zodiac killer in the 1960s. The result is proof Fincher went above and beyond in his attention to detail." - IndieWire

 

 

 

The Film Itself

 

The Story

 

"A serial killer in the San Francisco Bay Area taunts police with his letters and cryptic messages. We follow the investigators and reporters in this lightly fictionalized account of the true 1970's case as they search for the murderer, becoming obsessed with the case. Based on Robert Graysmith's book, the movie's focus is the lives and careers of the detectives and newspaper people"

 

Critic Opinion

 

"David Fincher’s magnificently obsessive new film, “Zodiac,” tracks the story of the serial killer who left dead bodies up and down California in the 1960s and possibly the ’70s, and that of the men who tried to stop him. Set when the Age of Aquarius disappeared into the black hole of the Manson family murders, the film is at once sprawling and tightly constructed, opaque and meticulously detailed. It’s part police procedural, part monster movie, a funereal entertainment that is an unexpected repudiation of Mr. Fincher’s most famous movie, the serial-killer fiction “Seven,” as well as a testament to this cinematic savant’s gifts.

 

Informed by history and steeped in pulp fiction, “Zodiac” stars a trio of beauties — Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo — all at the top of their performance game and captured in out-of-sight high-definition digital by the cinematographer Harris Savides. Mr. Gyllenhaal is the sneaky star of the show as the real-life cartoonist turned writer Robert Graysmith, though he doesn’t emerge from the wings until fairly late, after the bodies and the investigations have cooled. A silky, seductive Mr. Downey plays Paul Avery, a showboating newspaper reporter who chased the killer in print, while Mr. Ruffalo struts his estimable stuff as Dave Toschi, the San Francisco police detective who taught Steve McQueen how to wear a gun in “Bullitt” and pursued Zodiac close to the ground." - Manhola Dargis

 

BOT User Opinion

 

""I'm not the Zodiac, and if I was I wouldn't tell you."Perhaps the most important line in the whole film. This in fact may be the most important scene in the film. The initial questioning ends up being in many ways the closest we ever get to seeing the Zodiac killer (or so we want to think) up close and in person. This scenes marks the send-off into the labyrinth of twists and turns that was this case. What I love about this film is that it uses the story of the Zodiac killer to bring out the two aspects I love most about this film: the musings regarding both the media and obsession in general.I'll start with the media aspect first as I feel that leads directly into the obsessions. There is so much interesting stuff to be had here. In particular I felt the film showed how the media can create facts in the minds of people. It can direct the path of where a story goes whether such path is warranted or not. In a way the Zodiac killer himself is a bi-product of the media. So much is ultimately unknown and yet the media had no problem jumping to conclusion after conclusion. On the obsession realm the film shows how the Zodiac affected not only his victims but rather the lives of everyone out to get him. There are avenues explored to no end over and over only to come up empty. It is quite frankly a brutal cycle in which there is no escape.The way the film tracks the timeline is brilliant in bringing out the obsessive nature on display. It is in fact quite disorienting with all the constant time lapses and jumps. It makes one realize just how easily it is to get wrapped up in it all. The film ends almost 160 minutes in and as a viewer you are not ready to give in just yet. The obsession has indeed seeped into your being as well.What a great ending scene. The guy picks Leigh out of a line-up and says he's an "8" regarding his confidence level. As much we hate to admit it, that level of doubt remains. We still aren't completely sure. And then the filim ends........brilliant.A delirious trip into the mind of a serial killer and the inevitable collateral damage left in his wake." - @mattmav45

 

Factoids

 

Zodiac was directed by David Fincher.  It received 36 points and 7 votes

 

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Countries Represented: Austria (1), England (1), France (1), Israel (1), Japan (2), Spain (1), United States (4)

 

Time Periods Represented: 16th Century (1), 17th Century (1), 19th Century (1), 1960s (1), 21st Century (1), Classical Period (1), Middle Ages (1), World War 1/1910s (1), World War 2/1940s (3)

 

Cross Section of Times and Countries: 19th Century - United States (1), 21st Century - United States (1), 1960s - United States (1), Classical Period - Israel (1), Middle Ages - England (1), Sengoku Period - Japan (1), Tokugawa Shogunate - Japan (1), World War 1 - France (1), World War 2/1940s - Spain (1), World War 2 - Austria (1), World War 2 - United States (1)

 

Directors Represented: David Fincher (2), Anthoney Harvey (1), Terry Jones (1), Masaki Kobayashi (1), Akira Kurosawa (1), Penny Marshall (1), Sam Mendes (1) Steven Spielberg (1), Guillermo Del Torro (1), Robert Wise (1)

 

Decades Represented: 60s (3), 70s (1), 80s (1), 90s (1), 00s (2), 10s (3)

 

 

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Zodiac is technically well made and acted but it is boring, like really slow and dry for about 90% of the film.

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"Where I come from, it's illegal to be naive."

 

Historical Setting: 1930s Korea under Japanese Occupation

 

Source from the Period

 

"It was the middle of January or perhaps a little later, say the beginning of February,
1937. I was 17 years old. I heard girls were being recruited with promises of work in Japan. It
was said that a few had been recruited not long before from P’yǒngch’on where we had lived
with my uncle. I wished that at that time I had been able to with them, but I suddenly heard a
Korean man was in the area again recruiting more girls to work in the Japanese factories. I went
to P’yǒngch’on to meet him and promised him I would go to Japan to work. He gave me the
time and place of my departure and I returned home to ready myself to leave. In those days
people were rather simple, and I, having had no education, didn’t know anything of the world.
All I knew ― all I thought I knew ― was that I was going to work in a factory to earn money. I
never dreamed that this could involve danger. …


We arrived at Kunbuk station and transferred to a train. It was a public slow train, and
traveled slowly down to Pusan, where we boarded a boat. The man who had brought us this far
left us, and a Korean couple who said their home was in Shanghai took charge of us. The boat
was huge. It had many decks, and we had to climb down many lights of stairs, right to the
bottom of the boat to find our bunks. It was a ferry and took many other passengers. The crew
brought us bread and water, and we sailed to Nagasaki. At Nagasaki, a vehicle resembling a
bus came and took us to a guest‑house. From that moment on we were watched by soldiers. I
asked one of them: “Why are you keeping us here? What kind of work are we going to do?” He
simply replied that he only followed orders. On the first night there I was dragged before a
high‑ranking solder and raped. He had a pistol. I was frightened at seeing myself bleed and I
tried to run away. He patted my back and said that I would have to go through this experience
whether I liked it or not, but that after a few times I would not feel so much pain. We were
taken here and there to the rooms of different high‑ranking officers on a nightly basis. Every
night we were raped. On the fifth day, I asked one of the soldiers; “Why are you taking us from
room to room to different men? What is our work? Is it just going to be with different men?” He
replied: “You will go wherever orders take you. And you will know what your job is when you
get there.” We left Nagasaki after a week of this grueling ordeal.

 

Led by our Korean guides, we boarded another boat for Shanghai. …
There was a truck waiting for us at the pier, which whisked us away. There were not
rail‑tracks, and no buses or taxis to be seen. We passed through disordered streets and arrived
in a suburban area. There was a large house right beside an army unit, and we were to be
accommodated there. The house was pretty much derelict and inside was divided into many
small rooms. There were two Japanese women and abut 20 Koreans there, so with the 30 of us who had arrived

from Uiryŏng there were about 50 women in total. The two Japanese were said
to have come from brothels. They were 27 or 28, about ten years older than all the Koreans. The
soldiers preferred us Korean girls, saying we were cleaner. Those who had arrived before us
came from the south‑western provinces of Chŏlla and the central provinces of Ch’ungch’ŏng
and were of similar age to us. Those of us who had traveled together kept ourselves very much
to ourselves. I was called “Langchang” there. From the 50 of us, excluding those who were ill or
had other reasons, 35 girls on average worked each day. …


We rose at seven in the morning, washed and took breakfast in turns. Then from about 9
o’clock the soldiers began to arrive and form orderly lines. From 6 o’clock in the evening highranking
officers came, some of whom stayed overnight. Each of us had to serve an average of 30
to 40 men each day, and we often had no time to sleep. When there was a battle, the number of
soldiers who came declined. In each room there was a box of condoms which the soldiers used.
There were some who refused to use them, but more than half put them on without
complaining. I told those who would not use them that I had a terrible disease, and it would be
wise for them to use a condom if they didn’t want to catch it. Quite a few would rush straight to
penetration without condoms, saying they couldn’t care less if they caught any diseases since
they were likely to die on the battlefield at any moment. On such occasions I was terrified that I
might actually catch venereal disease. After one use, we threw the condoms away; plenty were
provided."

- Kim Tokchin "I Have Much to Say to the Korean Government"

From True Stories of the Korean Comfort Women

 

Historical Context

 

"Many Japanese settlers were interested in acquiring agricultural land in Korea even before Japanese land ownership was officially legalized in 1906. Japanese landlords included both individuals and corporations such as the Oriental Development Company. Many former Korean landowners and agricultural workers became tenant farmers after losing their entitlements almost overnight.  After Emperor Gojong died in 1919 amidst rumors of poisoning, independence rallies against the Japanese took place nationwide (the March 1st Movement). This movement was suppressed by force and about 7,000 were killed by Japanese soldiers and police. An estimated 2 million people took part in pro-liberation rallies, although Japanese records claim participation of less than half million. This movement was partly inspired by United States President Woodrow Wilson’s speech of 1919, declaring support for right of self-determination and an end to colonial rule for Europeans. No comment was made by Wilson on Korean independence. The Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea was established in Shanghai, China, in the aftermath of March 1 Movement, which coordinated the liberation effort and resistance against Japanese control. The Provisional Government is considered the de jure government of the Korean people between 1919 and 1948, and its legitimacy is enshrined in the preamble to the constitution of the Republic of Korea.

 

Continued anti-Japanese uprisings, such as the nationwide uprising of students in November 1929, led to the strengthening of military rule in 1931. After the outbreaks of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937 and World War II, Japan attempted to exterminate Korea as a nation. The continuance of Korean culture itself became illegal. Worship at Japanese Shinto shrines was made compulsory. The school curriculum was radically modified to eliminate teaching of the Korean language and history. The Korean language was banned, Koreans were forced to adopt Japanese names, and newspapers were prohibited from publishing in Korean. Numerous Korean cultural artifacts were destroyed or taken to Japan. According to an investigation by the South Korean government, 75,311 cultural assets were taken from Korea." 

- Boundless World History

 

Historical Accuracy

 

"Such assumed names and identities prevalent in the novel are taken one step further in The Handmaiden with the colonial power dynamics between Korean and Japanese identities. In the film, Sook-hee, for instance, takes the role of maid with a Korean name Okju, which then is renamed as Tamako, a Japanese name, given to her by a Korean housekeeper. The constantly shifting identities are also reflected in the languages the characters use in the film. Most main characters use both Korean and Japanese languages, and in the theatrical release version, the subtitles of dialogues are colour-coded to show which language is being spoken (Korean in white, and Japanese in yellow).10 Count Fujiwara, for instance, skilfully uses Japanese to dupe Kouzuki, but when scheming with Sook-hee and/or Lady Hideko, he reverts to Korean. Lady Hideko, who too speaks both languages, being brought up in Korea since she was a child, prefers to speak in Korean with Sook-hee, because Japanese is the language of the erotic literature she is forced to recite publicly to audiences of men.

 

Most notably, the character of Uncle Kouzuki, a Korean by birth but now a naturalized Japanese, was once an interpreter who bribed his way into translating for Japanese high officials, as revealed in an inset story told by Count Fujiwara. Aspiring to be an ‘authentic’ Japanese man of letters, Kouzuki had married a Japanese (noble) woman, and he is planning to marry his Japanese niece Hideko. Explaining the convoluted nature of Kouzuki’s identity, the film’s director Park describes the character as follows:  There’s a Korean term, sadaejuui, that is used to uniquely express this notion, where the people of a smaller nation are so drawn to the power of a larger nation, and become subservient to that power. They internalize it so much that they are not worshiping the bigger power by force, but are doing it voluntarily. Through the character of Uncle Kouzuki, I wanted to paint a portrait of these poor, sad, and pathetic individuals – who are poor, I say – but who become a big threat and a serious danger for the other people of their nation (Topalovic 2016).

 

Indeed, Japan’s annexation of Korea (1910–1945) brought about certain Koreans who not only voluntarily subjugate themselves to the colonial power but who also want to emulate or even ‘become’ the colonizers. The character of Uncle Kouzuki clearly embodies the confused identity of such individuals. When asked ‘why this urge to become Japanese,’ his answer is unceremonious: ‘Because Korea is ugly and Japan is beautiful.’ He adds that ‘Korea is soft, slow, dull and therefore hopeless.’ Ironically, however, Homi Bhabha’s notion of ‘mimicry’ that has come to describe the ambivalent relationship between colonizer and colonized, can be used here to discern the character’s potentially threatening aspect that blurs the boundaries of colonial identities. As Bhabha argues, being ‘at once resemblance and menace’ (1994, 123), mimicry destabilizes the colonial discourse, including Kouzuki’s own blunt assessment of Korea and Japan. As such, the film expands the novel’s sense of class and LGBTQ identity politics into the colonial appropriation and blurring of identities in the adaptive process." - In another time and place: The Handmaiden as an Adaption, Chi-Yun Sin

 

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The Film Itself

 

The Story

 

"1930s Korea, in the period of Japanese occupation, a new girl (Sookee) is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress (Hideko) who lives a secluded life on a large countryside estate with her domineering Uncle (Kouzuki). But the maid has a secret. She is a pickpocket recruited by a swindler posing as a Japanese Count to help him seduce the Lady to elope with him, rob her of her fortune, and lock her up in a madhouse. The plan seems to proceed according to plan until Sookee and Hideko discover some unexpected emotions."

 

Critic Opinion

 

"It’s a reasonable but ultimately unconvincing rationale. In a film so rich with social tensions – from class and gender to sexuality and race – nothing here feels pure or without motive, including the sex. Chan-Wook attempts to reconcile this in the final scene, to vanish these anxieties with a stylised symmetry that, paradoxically, only betrays his own need for order, his own benevolent but naive vision of queer female love as some kind of classless utopia. The truth, as BDSM lesbian activists have told us for decades, is that our private roles are just as messy, complicated and imperfect as our public selves, and that there can be great joy and deep healing in queering those constructs: mistress and maid, top and bottom, switch and switch.

 

Happily, the unnatural quality of this scene only adds to the vaguely magical power of the lovers’ triumph, a happy-ending that’s all the more so given death’s constant proximity – from the vial of poison Hideko carries as protection against her uncle’s basement, to the eerie family heirloom she keeps lovingly stowed away in a hat box. Death may follow the couple – doesn’t it always, when queer women are on screen? – but only to unite them, unmasked under the cherry blossom tree during a dark night of the soul. It’s the men that death takes, in pleasingly brutal fashion. Hideko and Tamako survive, together – a just and sapid victory." - Charlotte Richardson Andrews

 

BOT User Opinion

 

"What I really enjoyed about this film (aside from the standard of great directing, acting and Park Chan Wook may be one of the best users of sound in a film that there is), was that the story I was expecting to watch came to a conclusion 40 minutes in. 

 

When they ended part one, it surprised me as it had already given me everything I was expecting to see and so the twists and the reveals of the next two thirds were great bonuses. The big thing that makes the great Korean directors so damn great to watch is that when you have essentially a Hollywood film upbringing, everything shocks you as scenes that aren't supposed to happen in a film actually happen and reveals are not telegraphed from a mile away." - @chasmmi

 

Factoids

 

The Handmaiden was directed by Park Chan-Wook.  It received 37 points and 4 votes.

 

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Countries Represented: Austria (1), England (1), France (1), Israel (1), Korea (1), Japan (2), Spain (1), United States (4)

 

Time Periods Represented: 16th Century (1), 17th Century (1), 19th Century (1), 1930s (1), 1960s (1), 21st Century (1), Classical Period (1), Middle Ages (1), World War 1/1910s (1), World War 2/1940s (3)

 

Cross Section of Times and Countries: 19th Century - United States (1), 21st Century - United States (1), 1930s - Korea (1), 1960s - United States (1), Classical Period - Israel (1), Middle Ages - England (1), Sengoku Period - Japan (1), Tokugawa Shogunate - Japan (1), World War 1 - France (1), World War 2/1940s - Spain (1), World War 2 - Austria (1), World War 2 - United States (1)

 

Directors Represented: Park Chan-Wook (1), David Fincher (2), Anthoney Harvey (1), Terry Jones (1), Masaki Kobayashi (1), Akira Kurosawa (1), Penny Marshall (1), Sam Mendes (1) Steven Spielberg (1), Guillermo Del Torro (1), Robert Wise (1)

 

Decades Represented: 60s (3), 70s (1), 80s (1), 90s (1), 00s (2), 10s (4)

 

 

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It's a dead heat right for the most represented decade on the list between the 2010s and the ... 1960s!  Will the Boomers or Gen Z historical fiction films win out?

 

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"Should we remain in Algeria? If you answer "yes," then you must accept all the necessary consequences."

 

Historical Setting: The Algerian War (1954-1962), French Occupied Algeria

 

Source from the Period

 

"To the Algerian People!

To the militants of the National Cause!

 

After decades of struggle, the National Movement has reached its final phase of fulfillment. At home, the people are united behind the watchwords of independence and action. Abroad, the atmosphere is favorable, especially with the diplomatic support of our Arab and Moslem brothers.  Our National Movement, prostrated by years of immobility and routine, badly directed, was disintegrating little by little.  Faced with this situation, a youthful group, gathering about it the majority of wholesome and resolute elements, judged that the moment had come to take the National Movement out of the impasse into which it had been forced by the conflicts of persons and of influence and to launch it into the true revolutionary struggle at the side of the Moroccan and Tunisian brothers.  We are independent of the two factions that are vying for power. Our movement gives to compatriots of every social position, to all the purely Algerian parties and movements, the possibility of joining in the liberation struggle.

GOAL. National independence through: 1) the restoration of the Algerian state, sovereign, democratic, and social, within the framework of the principles of Islam; 2) the preservation of all fundamental freedoms, without distinction of race or religion.

 

INTERNAL OBJECTIVE: Political house-cleaning through the destruction of the last vestiges of corruption and reformism.

 

EXTERNAL OBJECTIVES: 1) The internationalization of the Algerian problem; 2) the pursuit of North African unity in its national Arabo-Islamic context; 3) The assertion, through United Nations channels, of our active sympathy toward all nations that may support our liberating action.

 

MEANS OF STRUGGLE: Struggle by every means until our goal is attained. Exertion at home and abroad through political and direct action, with a view to making the Algerian problem a reality for the entire world. The struggle will be long, but the outcome is certain."

- Proclamation of the National Liberation Front, 1 November 1954

 

Historical Context

 

"In September 1958, the FLN founded the Provisional Government of the Algerian Republic (GPRA, Gouvernement provisoire de la République algérienne) under the presidency of Ferhat Abbas, a moderate nationalist.[1]  The GPRA effectively replaced the Coordination and Implementation Committee (CCE, Comité de Coordination et d’Exécution), the core decision-making organ within the FLN. Based first in Cairo (1958-60) and then Tunis (1960-62), the GPRA not only directed the Algerian revolutionary effort, but also served the purposes of legitimizing the Algerian independence struggle internationally while acting as a potent diplomatic tool for enlisting foreign support for that struggle. The GPRA eventually secured recognition from a variety of states (Document No. 13), which in turn allowed it to open in those states diplomatic missions whose primary tasks consisted of publicizing the plight of the Algerian people while soliciting material and other forms of assistance from host and other governments. Among the states that promptly recognized the GPRA were members of the socialist camp, which would thereafter play an increasingly meaningful role in the Algerian conflict. Indeed, it was not long after its establishment that the GPRA engaged communist bloc countries with a view to garnering moral, political, and material support from it. To that latter end it dispatched missions to communist states, or otherwise entertained relations with them through their diplomats posted in Egypt and Tunisia." 

- The Algerian Revolution and the Communist Bloc: Evidence from the Algerian National Archives

 

Historical Accuracy

 

"The film was banned in France for several years, and some of its scenes depicting torture of Algerians by the French authorities were cut in the UK and US. Among those who condemned the film were French National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, who served in Algeria. If your depiction of French colonial rule irritates Jean-Marie Le Pen, you are almost certainly doing something right. In any case, the beatings, electric shocks and water tortures inflicted by the French were openly admitted by Aussaresses in his 2001 memoir, though he refused to express regret for carrying them out.

 

Ammar Ali, known as Ali-la-Pointe, did indeed die in an explosion set by the French, along with Ben Bouali and a child who had carried messages. Aussaresses claimed that one detail was left out of the film. The French, he said, found Ali because they captured Yacef, and Yacef immediately revealed Ali's hiding place. The claim is not entirely credible, seeing as over a month elapsed between the alleged confession of Yacef and the discovery of Ali. In any case, the fact that the film has deliberately fictionalised Yacef's character as Jafar technically removes the question.

 

So accurate is The Battle of Algiers that it has been shown within terrorist groups and military and police agencies as a training exercise. It was even screened at the Pentagon by the Directorate for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict in 2004, apparently to inform strategy in Iraq. Whether the Department of Defence concluded this was what they should be doing, or what they shouldn't, has not been disclosed. The film is viewable either way: in its climax, the French ostensibly win. Only in the closing shots is it revealed that the Algerian effort resurged, finally winning independence in 1962." 

- Alex von Tunzelmann, The Guardian

 

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The Film Itself

 

The Story

 

"A film commissioned by the Algerian government that shows the Algerian revolution from both sides. The French foreign legion has left Vietnam in defeat and has something to prove. The Algerians are seeking independence. The two clash. The torture used by the French is contrasted with the Algerian's use of bombs in soda shops. A look at war as a nasty thing that harms and sullies everyone who participates in it."

 

Critic Opinion

 

"The most electrifyingly timely movie playing in New York was made in 1965. Gillo Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers is famous, but for some time it’s been available only in washed-out prints with poorly translated, white-on-white subtitles. The newly translated and subtitled 35-millimeter print at Film Forum is presumably the version that was privately screened in August for military personnel by the Pentagon as a field guide to fighting terrorism. Former national-security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski volunteered this blurb: “If you want to understand what’s happening right now in Iraq, I recommend The Battle of Algiers.” I wonder if these politicos are aware that Pontecorvo’s epic was once used by the Black Panthers as a training film? In fact, not much in the current Iraq situation is historically comparable to the late-fifties Algerian struggle for independence dramatized in The Battle of Algiers, but its anatomy of terror remains unsurpassed—and, woefully, ever fresh.

 

The movie’s original U.S. distributor inserted the disclaimer: “Not one foot of newsreel or documentary film has been used.” That disclaimer might still be helpful to first-time viewers. The Battle of Algiers has often been compared to Potemkin as an example of incendiary, documentary-style political filmmaking. But Eisenstein’s classic was a flurry of highly theatrical techniques; there was a formality to the revolutionary chaos he unleashed, with carefully patterned crowds surging on cue. Pontecorvo’s approach is much looser and more caught-in-the-moment, although everything is carefully choreographed. What perhaps accounts for the extraordinary realism is a combination of Pontecorvo’s chief neorealist influences, Rossellini’s Open City and Paisan (the movie that inspired Pontecorvo to become a filmmaker), and his own wartime experience as an anti-Fascist partisan who commanded the Milan Resistance in 1943. The Battle of Algiers is a movie made by a director who knows (in both senses) whereof he shoots." - Peter Rainer, New Yorker

 

BOT User Opinion

 

"This is an amazing film, and way ballsier than pretty much any Hollywood movie these days (in that it shows both sides committing atrocities and/or terrorist actions). It's easy to see how its faux-documentary style has influenced many films and filmmakers today." - @Plain Old Tele

 

Factoids

 

The Battle of Algiers was directed by Gillo Pontecorvo.  It received 37 points and 5 votes.

 

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Countries Represented: Algeria (1), Austria (1), England (1), France (1), Israel (1), Korea (1), Japan (2), Spain (1), United States (4)

 

Time Periods Represented: 16th Century (1), 17th Century (1), 19th Century (1), 1930s (1), 1950s (1), 1960s (1), 21st Century (1), Classical Period (1), Middle Ages (1), World War 1/1910s (1), World War 2/1940s (3)

 

Cross Section of Times and Countries: 19th Century - United States (1), 21st Century - United States (1), 1930s - Korea (1), 1950s - Algeria (1), 1960s - United States (1), Classical Period - Israel (1), Middle Ages - England (1), Sengoku Period - Japan (1), Tokugawa Shogunate - Japan (1), World War 1 - France (1), World War 2/1940s - Spain (1), World War 2 - Austria (1), World War 2 - United States (1)

 

Directors Represented: Park Chan-Wook (1), David Fincher (2), Anthoney Harvey (1), Terry Jones (1), Masaki Kobayashi (1), Akira Kurosawa (1), Penny Marshall (1), Sam Mendes (1), Gillo Pontecorvo (1), Steven Spielberg (1), Guillermo Del Torro (1), Robert Wise (1)

 

Decades Represented: 60s (4), 70s (1), 80s (1), 90s (1), 00s (2), 10s (4)

 

 

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"I served my country - and they just want to take from it - just take, take! Love it or leave it, that's what I think."

 

Historical Setting: 1960s United States

 

Source from the Period

 

"Many guys I knew from the action I write about in Hurricane Street are dead, and the rate of suicide among veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan is very high. I have tried in my books to show that combat doesn’t happen the way John Wayne movies or Rambo movies portray it. I remember my first tour of duty in Vietnam. I was a member of a reconnaissance platoon, doing a long-range patrol. These were 18-man teams, the elite of the Marine Corps. We were in a Huey over Chu Lai, heading into the landing zone, and I was humming the Marine Hymn. I imagined myself being in a movie like Sands of Iwo Jima or Destination Burma or Sergeant York. That’s what I thought war was; that’s what I had grown up on.

 

...

 

I wasn’t in touch with buddies from Vietnam afterward, but a friend who was a holder of the Silver Star was very upset with me for speaking out at the Republican convention in 1972. Neighbors told their children to keep away from me. People called me a communist, a traitor. But I wasn’t politicized by the left or the right as much as I was politicized by the battlefield and by the intensive care unit—by the war itself, not by ideology. I was no pacifist, you know. I volunteered for Vietnam twice." - Interview of Ron Kovic

 

Historical Context

 

"The Vietnam War sparked a mass antiwar movement employing the civil disobedience tactics and grassroots mobilizations of the civil rights struggles. The early movement was also spurred by networks of student protest already formed during the Berkeley Free Speech Movement in 1964 and the founding of Students for a Democratic Society in 1960.  Though sailors and soldiers following World War II had protested US aid to the French colonization project in Vietnam, and liberal anti-nuclear groups had begun discussing the conflict in the early 1960s, it was not until President Johnson’s switch in 1965 from a proxy war to a full-scale air and ground war that the large organized protest to the war emerged.

 

Led by student organizations like Students for a Democratic Society, the antiwar movement developed rapidly, and by 1969, hundreds of thousands of people were demonstrating against the war. The following year, hundreds of campuses across the country went on strike in protest of Nixon’s escalation of the war into Cambodia. Inside all branches of the military, soldiers began refusing orders, printing underground antiwar newspapers, and organizing small-scale mutinies, which crippled the military’s ability to function. Protesting the war led many to question the social and political systems that produced such wars, and activists tied their critiques to issues of capitalism, racism, economic exploitation, and women’s and gay liberation." - Jessie Kindig, The University of Washington

 

Historical Accuracy

 

"Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic detailed his exploits as a Marine staff sergeant in his autobiography, “Born on the Fourth of July.” Tom Cruise portrayed Kovic on the big screen in the 1989 film directed by another Vietnam vet, Oliver Stone.  Rudy Molina Jr. says some of Kovic’s story is just plain wrong and wants to set the record straight.  Molina, 65, served with Kovic in H&S Co., 1st AmTrac Battalion, 3rd Marine Division in the late 1960s. Kovic mentions him numerous times in the book, specifically in reference to an attack on a mistaken location that left a hut full of Vietnamese women and children dead. Molina said it was the saddest moment of his life.

 

Their lives went in different directions. Kovic came home and wrote his book. Molina remained in the military into the 1970s. He eventually returned to his native Texas. He worked for the Border Patrol and then became a U.S. Immigration inspector in Arizona, where he made the biggest mistake of his life. He went to federal prison after being indicted in a cocaine smuggling conspiracy in 1991. He spent 22 years behind bars and is now under house arrest at his parents’ home in Modesto, Calif.

 

 

I learned about him through Steve Lawson of the Modesto Vet Center, where Molina is receiving counseling for post-traumatic stress disorder.  Why trust Molina? His story matches that of Florida’s Dennis Kleppen, another survivor of the firefight Jan. 20, 1968, at Cua Viet, south of the Demilitarized Zone. Kovic was shot twice, the second bullet hitting him in the shoulder, lodging in his spine and paralyzing him for life.  That much is fact. Molina and Kleppen, though, dispute Kovic’s depictions of what happened before and during the time he was hit.  Kovic claimed that fellow Marines ran away from the fight, leaving him and one other Marine — Molina? — under heavy enemy fire." - Jeff Jardine, The Seattle Times

 

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The Film Itself

 

The Story

 

"The biography of Ron Kovic. Paralyzed in the Vietnam war, he becomes an anti-war and pro-human rights political activist after feeling betrayed by the country he fought for."

 

Critic Opinion

 

"Marine Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise) lets go another round at the hidden Viet Cong snipers, an unshakeable belief in his own invincibility evident in his every action, fanatical pride in his corps and country driving him on over the brink. Suddenly, the entire beat of the action switches from observing this foolhardy act to a position inside Kovic as the fateful bullet rips through his spinal cord. Ever so slowly you arc up and over with him, collapsed onto the ground in a crumpled heap, the final thud bringing the blood up from the lungs and out through the mouth. It is a sickening, brutal, wholly unforgettable moment and just one of many that linger long after Born On The Fourth Of July has run its epic course.

 

The true story of Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic, originally told in his 1976 book Born On The Fourth Of July, could have easily lost its impact on the screen, reduced to the unfortunate plight of an unlucky whinger who bit off more than he could chew. Instead, it translates quite magnificently into a thoroughly moving tale of one man’s extraordinary life, depicting the awful sense of impotence that comes with a young body trapped in a wheelchair while all the time supplying the fascinating backdrop of three of the most turbulent decades in American history." - Bill Mcllehenney, Empire

 

Factoids

 

Born on the Fourth of July was directed by Oliver Stone.  It received 37 points, 5 votes and won in a tiebreaker by having a #1 placement.

 

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Countries Represented: Algeria (1), Austria (1), England (1), France (1), Israel (1), Korea (1), Japan (2), Spain (1), United States (5)

 

Time Periods Represented: 16th Century (1), 17th Century (1), 19th Century (1), 1930s (1), 1950s (1), 1960s (2), 21st Century (1), Classical Period (1), Middle Ages (1), World War 1/1910s (1), World War 2/1940s (3)

 

Cross Section of Times and Countries: 19th Century - United States (1), 21st Century - United States (1), 1930s - Korea (1), 1950s - Algeria (1), 1960s - United States (2), Classical Period - Israel (1), Middle Ages - England (1), Sengoku Period - Japan (1), Tokugawa Shogunate - Japan (1), World War 1 - France (1), World War 2/1940s - Spain (1), World War 2 - Austria (1), World War 2 - United States (1)

 

Directors Represented: Park Chan-Wook (1), David Fincher (2), Anthoney Harvey (1), Terry Jones (1), Masaki Kobayashi (1), Akira Kurosawa (1), Penny Marshall (1), Sam Mendes (1), Gillo Pontecorvo (1), Steven Spielberg (1), Oliver Stone (1), Guillermo Del Torro (1), Robert Wise (1)

 

Decades Represented: 60s (4), 70s (1), 80s (2), 90s (1), 00s (2), 10s (4)

 

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"Here at NASA we all pee the same color."

 

Historical Setting: 1961, Langley Research Center

 

Source from this Period

 

"My colleagues and I were committed to the work. We found different ways to deal with the segregation.  In the cafeteria, we just ignored the sign [for segregated seating]. But at some point, we started eating at our desks. When we left work, our lives were definitely separate — separate communities, separate schools for our children, separate grocery stores and churches. But then we’d be back with our colleagues on the job. People are people. My father’s advice helped. He said, “You’re no better than anybody else, but nobody is better than you."

 

 

I believed I was where I was supposed to be. When I was a student, my mentor told me I’d make a good research mathematician. I said, “What is that?” and he told me I’d have to find out for myself. At NASA, I happened to be at the right place at the right time. When you put bright people in a room and they had something to do, they worked on it until they got it done. But honestly, it was never work to me.   We put in some long hours at times, and I had three children at home. But they were very responsible, and I had family and friends who helped look after them.

 

I’ve spent a lot of time tutoring kids in math as a volunteer. I’ve always enjoyed helping people understand what they can find in math. There’s no judgment there.  

From time to time I’ve spoken to school groups about my work at NASA. I’ve also been active in my church and my sorority [Alpha Kappa Alpha]. I like to play bridge and other games that involve math."

- AARP Interview with Katherine Johnson

 

Historical Context

 

"Katherine Johnson loved to count. “I counted everything. I counted the steps to the road, the steps up to church, the number of dishes and silverware I washed … anything that could be counted, I did.” And so it began for this young girl from West Virginia. Born in 1918 in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., Johnson’s love for mathematics was inherent, an inclination she had from birth. At a young age, she was ready and anxious to go to school. She could vividly remember watching her older siblings go to school and wishing so much that she could go with them. The opportunity to attend school finally did come. Johnson so excelled that she began her studies in the second grade, then moved into advanced classes. By age 10, Johnson was in high school.

 

At West Virginia State College, Johnson became immersed in academia and the mathematics program. She loved being surrounded by smart people, she said, and knew all of the professors and students on campus. One of her professors, the renowned Dr. William W. Schiefflin Claytor, recognized the bright and inquisitive mind that Johnson had. “You’d make a great research mathematician,” he told her. Then professor Claytor did something else. He told Johnson that he would help her become one. Johnson said, “Many professors tell you that you’d be good at this or that, but they don’t always help you with that career path. Professor Claytor made sure I was prepared to be a research mathematician.” He saw that Johnson took all of the mathematics classes listed in the catalog that were needed to pursue her life’s passion, and even went so far as to create a class in analytic geometry of space just for her. At age18, Johnson graduated summa cum laude with Bachelor of Science degrees in mathematics and French. Johnson recalled of her professor, “Claytor was a young professor himself, and he would walk into the room, put his hand in his pocket, and take some chalk out, and continue yesterday’s lesson. But sometimes I could see that others in the class did not understand what he was teaching. So I would ask questions to help them. He’d tell me that I should know the answer, and I finally had to tell him that I did know the answer, but the other students did not. I could tell.”

 

Katherine Johnson passed from this life on the morning of Feb. 24, 2020. She was 101 years old." - Katherine Johnson, A Life in STEM, NASA Archives

 

Historical Accuracy

 

""Movies become reality for a lot of people," said Barry.

 

For audiences watching "Hidden Figures" who think what they see on the screen happened exactly as depicted, they might believe Johnson, Jackson and Vaughan were close friends, that Al Harrison (Kevin Costner) was the head of the Space Task Group and that Johnson completed quick calculations as John Glenn waited on the launch pad to lift off. The real history, however, was different.

"To be able to tell a story in a way that the audience can understand and make it entertaining enough for them to be able to watch, I think the scriptwriters have to be creative and find a balance between telling the exact historic details and delivering a story that is both interesting and gets the message across," Barry explained.

 

"I say this all the time but the movie is not a documentary," said director Ted Melfi. "We were painfully aware and very careful with how we portrayed the women and the things they accomplished."

"There are little liberties taken here and there to dramatize, but the crux of the story is true," he told collectSPACE.com.  For Shetterly, perhaps the biggest difference between the movie and reality are the number of people depicted.

"You might get the indication in the movie that these were the only people doing those jobs, when in reality we know they worked in teams, and those teams had other teams," she said. "There were sections, branches, divisions, and they all went up to a director. There were so many people required to make this happen."

 

"It would be great for people to understand that there were so many more people," Shetterly explained. "Even though Katherine Johnson, in this role, was a hero, there were so many others that were required to do other kinds of tests and checks to make [Glenn's] mission come to fruition. But I understand you can't make a movie with 300 characters. It is simply not possible."" - Robert Z. Pearlman SPACE, 

 

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The Film Itself

 

The Story

 

"As the United States raced against Russia to put a man in space, NASA found untapped talent in a group of African-American female mathematicians that served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history. Based on the unbelievably true life stories of three of these women, known as "human computers", we follow these women as they quickly rose the ranks of NASA alongside many of history's greatest minds specifically tasked with calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and guaranteeing his safe return. Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Gobels Johnson crossed all gender, race, and professional lines while their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly cemented them in U.S. history as true American heroes."

 

Critic Opinion

 

"Hidden Figures is not that kind of film: It’s a story of brilliance, but not of ego. It’s a story of struggle and willpower, but not of individual glory. Set in 1960s Virginia, the film centers on three pioneering African American women whose calculations for NASA were integral to several historic space missions, including John Glenn’s successful orbit of the Earth. These women—Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan—were superlative mathematicians and engineers despite starting their careers in segregation-era America and facing discrimination at home, at school, and at work.

 

And yet Hidden Figures pays tribute to its subjects by doing the opposite of what many biopics have done in the past—it looks closely at the remarkable person in the context of a community. Directed by Theodore Melfi (St. Vincent) and based on the nonfiction book of the same title by Margot Lee Shetterly, the film celebrates individual mettle, but also the way its characters consistently try to lift others up.  They’re phenomenal at what they do, but they’re also generous with their time, their energy, and their patience in a way that feels humane, not saintly. By refracting the overlooked lives and accomplishments of Johnson, Vaughan, and Jackson through this lens, Hidden Figures manages to be more than an inspiring history lesson with wonderful performances." - Lenika Cruz, The Atlantic

 

BOT User Opinion

 

"Movies don't get more feel-good inspirational than Hidden Figures, which tells the true story of black female mathematicians who worked at NASA at a time when it was unthinkable for someone who was either black or a woman to work in such field. That we haven't seen many movies about black women in science is enough for the movie to overcome its familiar underdog trappings, but the movie succeeds as both entertainment and as a history lesson without ever becoming preachy or boring. The main reason the film should be seen is because of the wonderful performance from Taraji P. Henson, who imbues Katherine Johnson with instant likability and determination that makes the character easy to root for. It's a shame that she's probably going to miss an Oscar nomination due to a competitive field. Octavia Spencer is great as always, while singer-turned-actress Janelle Monae has established herself as one to watch out for between this and Moonlight this year. Surrounding them is an excellent ensemble cast that includes Kevin Costner (continuing his string of great performances in recent years), Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, and Glen Powell (as the recently departed John Glenn). This is a complete crowdpleaser that had my audience applauding during certain points of the movie and, given what's unfortunately been going on in the world, the timing of it couldn't better." - @filmlover

 

Factoids

 

Hidden Figures was directed by Theodore Melfi.  It received 37 points and 6 votes

 

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Countries Represented: Algeria (1), Austria (1), England (1), France (1), Israel (1), Korea (1), Japan (2), Spain (1), United States (6)

 

Time Periods Represented: 16th Century (1), 17th Century (1), 19th Century (1), 1930s (1), 1950s (1), 1960s (3), 21st Century (1), Classical Period (1), Middle Ages (1), World War 1/1910s (1), World War 2/1940s (3)

 

Cross Section of Times and Countries: 19th Century - United States (1), 21st Century - United States (1), 1930s - Korea (1), 1950s - Algeria (1), 1960s - United States (3), Classical Period - Israel (1), Middle Ages - England (1), Sengoku Period - Japan (1), Tokugawa Shogunate - Japan (1), World War 1 - France (1), World War 2/1940s - Spain (1), World War 2 - Austria (1), World War 2 - United States (1)

 

Directors Represented: Park Chan-Wook (1), David Fincher (2), Anthoney Harvey (1), Terry Jones (1), Masaki Kobayashi (1), Akira Kurosawa (1), Penny Marshall (1), Theodore Melfi (1), Sam Mendes (1), Gillo Pontecorvo (1), Steven Spielberg (1), Oliver Stone (1), Guillermo Del Torro (1), Robert Wise (1)

 

Decades Represented: 60s (4), 70s (1), 80s (2), 90s (1), 00s (2), 10s (5)

 

 

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8 minutes ago, The Panda said:

 

Katherine Johnson passed from this life on the morning of Feb. 24, 2020. She was 101 years old." - Katherine Johnson, A Life in STEM, NASA Archives

Thank you for adding that, I read it only a few days back and thought about mentioning it as she saw some rather big changes in her live due to the age, in combination with her experiences I guess even more than the most of 100y old ones.

I love to imagin she had an opportunity to see the movie 

 

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And another batch of honorable mentions

 

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81.    Roma 
82.    The King’s Speech 
83.    Unforgiven
84.    The Last Samurai 
85.    Alexander Nevsky 
86.    Aguirre, The Wrath of God 
87.    Spotlight 
88.    Platoon 
88.    (Tie for 88) L.A. Confidential 
90.    1776
91.    The Godfather Part II
92.    Persepolis 
93.    A Man for All Seasons 
94.    Blood Diamond 
95.    Becket 
96.    Barry Lyndon
97.    First Man 
98.    Ugetsu
99.    The Searchers 
100.    Cinema Paradiso 

 

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"I will find you! No matter how long it takes, no matter how far. I will find you!"

 

Historical Setting: The French and Indian War, Colonial New York

 

Source from the Period

 

"Coll. Bird accused them of having again broke their Promise, by taking an Indian Girl from an English Man's House, and four Indian Boys Prisoners. They excused this, by its being done by the Parties that were out when the Peace was concluded, who knew nothing of it; which Accident they had provided against in their Articles. They said, the four Boys were given to the Relations of those Men that were lost; and it would be difficult to obtain their Restoration: But they at last promised to deliver them up.

 

The Senakas and Mohawks declared themselves free of any Blame, and chid the other Nations.  So that we may still observe the Influence which the French Priests had obtained over those other Nations, and to what Christian like Purpose they used it.  The Mohawks Speaker said, "Where shall I seek the Chain of Peace? Where shall I find it but upon our Path? And whither doth our Path lead us, but into this House? This is a House of Peace;" after this he sang all the Links of the Chain over. He afterwards sang by Way of Admonition to the Onondagas, Oneydoes, and Cayugas, and concluded all with a Song to the Virginia Indians.

 

The French Priests however still employed their Influence over the Onnondagas, Cayugas, and Oneydoes; and it was easy for them to spirit up the Indians (naturally revengeful) against their old Enemies. A Party of the Oneydoes went out two Years after this against the Wayanoak Indians, Friends of Virginia, and killed some of the People of Virginia, who assisted those Indians. They took six Prisoners, but restored them at Albany, with an Excuse, that they did not know they were Friends of Virginia. But Coll. Dungan on this Occasion told them, That he only had kept all the English in North America from joining together to destroy them; that if ever he should hear of the like Complaint, he would dig up the Hatchet, and join with the rest of the English to cut them off Root and Branch; for there were many Complaints made of him to the King by the English, as well as by the Governor of Canada, for his favouring of them. We have now gone through the material Transactions which the Five Nations had with the English, in which we find the English pursuing nothing but peaceable and Christian-like Measures; and the Five Nations (tho' Barbarians) living with the People of New-York, like good Neighbours and faithful Friends, and generally with all the English also, except when they were influenced by the Jesuites; at the same Time, one cannot but admire the Zeal, Courage, and Resolution of these Jesuites, that would adventure to live among Indians at War with their Nation; and the better to carry their Purposes, to comply with. all the Humours and Manners of such a wild People, so as not to be distinguished by Strangers from meer Indians. One of them, named Milet, remained with the Oneydoes till after the Year 1694; he was advanced to the Degree of a Sachem, and had so great an Influence over them, that the other Nations could not prevail with them to part with him. While he lived with them, the Oneydoes were frequently turned against the Southern Indians (Friends of the English southern Colonies) and were always wavering in their Resolutions against the French at Canada.

 

We shall now see what Effect the Policy of the French had, who pursued very different Measures from the English." 

-Onandogas and Cayugas: Iroquois Chiefs Address the Governors of New York and Virginia (1684)

 

Historical Context

 

"The first two decades of the eighteenth century brought a shift away from those aspects of Iroquois warfare that had been most socially disruptive. As the Iroquois freed themselves of many, though by no means all, of the de mographic, economic, and diplomatic pressures that had made seventeenth  century warfare so devastating, the mourning  ar began to resume some of its traditional functions in Iroquois culture. As the Five Nations made peace with their old western and northern foes, Iroquois mourning  ar raids came to focus on enemies the Iroquois called “Flatheads”— vague epithet for the Catawbas and other tribes on the frontiers of Virginia and the Carolinas.113 Iroquois and “Flathead” war parties had traded blows during the 1670s and 1680s, conflict had resumed about 1707, and after the arrival of the Tuscaroras in the 1710s Iroquois raiding parties attacked the “Flatheads” regularly and al most exclusively.114 The Catawbas and other southeastern Indians sided with the Carolinians in the Tuscarora War of 1711– 713, bringing them into fur ther conflict with warriors from the Five Nations, who fought alongside the Tuscaroras.115 After the Tuscaroras moved north, Iroquois Flathead” warfare increased in intensity and lasted— espite several peace treaties— ntil the era of the American Revolution. This series of mourning  ars exasperated English officials from New York to the Carolinas, who could conceive no ra tional explanation for the conflicts except the intrigues of French envoys who delighted in stirring up trouble on English frontiers.


Canadian authorities did indeed encourage Iroquois warriors with arms and presents. The French were happy for the chance to harass British settle ments and to strike blows against Indians who troubled French inhabitants of New Orleans and the Mississippi Valley.117 Yet the impetus for raiding the “Flatheads” lay with the Iroquois, not the French. At Onondaga in 1710, when emissaries from New York blamed French influence for the campaigns and presented a wampum belt calling for a halt to hostilities, a Seneca orator dis missed their arguments: “When I think of the Brave Warriours that hav[e] been slain by the Flatheads I can Govern my self no longer. . . . I reject your Belt for the Hatred I bear to the Flatheads can never be forgotten.” The “Flatheads” were an ideal target for the mourning  ars demanded by Iro quois women and warriors, for with conflict channeled southward, warfare with northern and western nations that, in the past, had brought disaster could be avoided. In addition, war with the Flatheads placated both Canadian authorities and pro  rench Iroquois factions, since the raids countered a pro  English trade policy with a military policy useful to the French. And, from the perspective of Iroquois  nglish relations, the southern campaigns posed few risks. New York officials alternately forbade and countenanced raids against southern Indians as the fortunes of frontier war in the Carolinas and the intrigues of intercolonial politics shifted. But even when the governors of the Carolinas, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York did agree on schemes to impose peace, experience with English military impotence had taught the Iroquois that the governors could do little to stop the conflict.


While the diplomatic advantages were many, perhaps the most important aspect of the Iroquois  lathead conflicts was the partial return they allowed to the traditional ways of the mourning  ar. By the 1720s the Five Nations had not undone the ravages of the preceding century, yet they had largely extricated themselves from the socially disastrous wars of the fur trade and of the European empires. And though prisoners no longer flowed into Iroquois villages in the floods of the seventeenth century, the southern raids provided enough captives for occasional mourning and condolence rituals that dried Iroquois tears and reminded the Five Nations of their superiority over their enemies. In the same letter of 1716 in which missionary Andrews noted the growing independence of the Iroquois since the Tuscarora had settled among them and the southern wars had intensified, he also vividly described the re ception recently given to captives of the Onondagas and Oneidas.120 Iroquois warfare was again binding Iroquois families and villages together."

- Trade, Land and Power Chapter 4 War and Culture: The Iroquois Experience by Daniel K. Richter

 

Historical Accuracy

 

"For UCLA American history Prof. Joyce Appleby, the movie’s focus upon the love affair between the frontier scout Hawkeye (Daniel Day-Lewis) and his ladylove Cora (Madeleine Stowe), set against the backdrop of the British surrender of Fort William Henry to the French, is “an excellent way to interest people in history.”  Appleby, whose most popular class at UCLA is the survey course “Pre-Revolutionary America to the Civil War,” went to the film earlier this week at the request of The Times, but she had already recommended that her students see it.

 

“I’m thrilled if they’re interested in learning more and I take a great deal of pleasure in demonstrating how it’s inaccurate. When you explain its inaccuracies, you teach something.”  Appleby, a published authority on 17th- and 18th-Century British and American history and past president of the Assn. of American Historians, lauds director Mann’s attention to detail: the costumes, sets and use of the French and Indian languages. Production notes distributed by 20th Century Fox, the studio that made the movie, list numerous experts hired for the project--from an 18th-Century frontier consultant to Delaware language instructors.  She said the overall look of the picture “certainly creates the sense of the trackless wilderness” that then existed in the lush wilderness of the upper Ohio River Valley, where the novel was set. (The movie was shot in North Carolina, where virgin forests resembling those once found in the Fort William Henry area of upper New York state still exist.)

 

One of Appleby’s criticisms of Mann’s picture is odd given the director’s reputation for the visceral treatment of subjects. A critical scene in which Col. Duncan Munro (Maurice Roeves) and his British troops are attacked by Indians led by the vengeful Huron Magua (Wes Studi) in an open field after they surrender Fort William Henry to the victorious Marquis de Montcalm (Patrice Chereau) is “much less grisly” than in the actual 1757 event, she said.The Hurons, who had allied themselves with the French to trade furs for guns and other goods, overtook the British inside Fort William Henry despite Montcalm’s assurances to Munro his troops would be safe. Appleby said the Indians went after scalps first inside the fort’s surgery ward--where soldiers were most vulnerable--killing women and children later. An estimated 250 died, another thousand fled."

- Jane Galbraith, LA Times

 

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The Film Itself

 

The Story

 

"The last members of a dying Native American tribe, the Mohicans -- Uncas, his father Chingachgook, and his adopted half-white brother Hawkeye -- live in peace alongside British colonists. But when the daughters of a British colonel are kidnapped by a traitorous scout, Hawkeye and Uncas must rescue them in the crossfire of a gruesome military conflict of which they wanted no part: the French and Indian War."

 

Critic Opinion

 

"Modern readers who find "The Last of the Mohicans" heavy sledding will be glad to know they are not alone. "Cooper's word-sense was singularly dull," Mark Twain wrote in his famous essay "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses." And: "If Cooper had any real knowledge of Nature's ways of doing things, he had a most delicate art in concealing the fact." And: "It would be very difficult to find a really clever 'situation' in Cooper's books, and still more difficult to find one of any kind which he has failed to render absurd by his handling of it."

 

The question of the hour, therefore, is why this most stupefying of American classics has now been brought back to the screen. Even in its 1936 version, which starred Randolph Scott, "The Last of the Mohicans" was thought to be badly dated, and so stodgy it required considerable modification to allow its hero and heroine a genteel kiss. Think of "Robin Hood," "Dances With Wolves," thrilling scenery and Daniel Day-Lewis running bare-chested through the forest if you want to grasp the real impetus behind this latest Cooper revival.

 

Actually, these are not bad reasons to have made the handsome, swashbuckling, peculiarly prescient epic that "The Last of the Mohicans" has now become. Drawing upon the novel with merciful selectivity, and adding such a contemporary flavor that the film's woodsmen often have a laid-back air, Michael Mann has directed a sultrier and more pointedly responsible version of this story. The film makers may have done a better job of making their own tomahawks and rebuilding Fort William Henry than of breathing sense into their material, but the results are still riveting. A movie whose crew included a mountaineer, several "greensmen" and a meteorologist is a movie with a keen sense of natural spectacle." - Janet Maslin, The New York Times

 

BOT User Opinion

 

"A lush, beautiful and sweeping action adventure. The soaring and gorgeous score is an all-timer (I adored the violin motif that played during the final chase scene on the mountainside, and the achingly beautiful theme when DDL told the story of the sun, moon and the stars).  The movie also shows that you don't need three and a half hours to tell an epic story." - @The Stingray

 

Factoids

 

The Last of the Mohicans was directed by Michael Mann and was not a cyber-thriller that was never released in China.  It received 37 points and 7 votes.

 

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Countries Represented: Algeria (1), Austria (1), England (1), France (1), Israel (1), Korea (1), Japan (2), Spain (1), United States (7)

 

Time Periods Represented: 16th Century (1), 17th Century (1), 18th Century (1), 19th Century (1), 1930s (1), 1950s (1), 1960s (3), 21st Century (1), Classical Period (1), Middle Ages (1), World War 1/1910s (1), World War 2/1940s (3)

 

Cross Section of Times and Countries: 18th Century - United States (1), 19th Century - United States (1), 21st Century - United States (1), 1930s - Korea (1), 1950s - Algeria (1), 1960s - United States (3), Classical Period - Israel (1), Middle Ages - England (1), Sengoku Period - Japan (1), Tokugawa Shogunate - Japan (1), World War 1 - France (1), World War 2/1940s - Spain (1), World War 2 - Austria (1), World War 2 - United States (1)

 

Directors Represented: Park Chan-Wook (1), David Fincher (2), Anthoney Harvey (1), Terry Jones (1), Masaki Kobayashi (1), Akira Kurosawa (1), Michael Mann (1), Penny Marshall (1), Theodore Melfi (1), Sam Mendes (1), Gillo Pontecorvo (1), Steven Spielberg (1), Oliver Stone (1), Guillermo Del Torro (1), Robert Wise (1)

 

Decades Represented: 60s (4), 70s (1), 80s (2), 90s (2), 00s (2), 10s (5)

 

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7 minutes ago, The Panda said:

The Last of the Mohicans was directed by Michael Mann and was not a cyber-thriller that was never release in China. 

 

:hahaha:

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"You know what I hate about fucking banking? It reduces people to numbers. Here's a number - every 1% unemployment goes up, 40,000 people die, did you know that?"

 

Historical Setting: Financial Crisis, United States

 

Source from the Period

 

"The problems in the subprime mortgage market have occurred in the context of a slowdown in overall economic growth.  Real gross domestic product has expanded a little more than 2 percent over the past year, compared with an average annual growth rate of 3-3/4 percent over the preceding three years.  The cooling of the housing market is an important source of this slowdown.  Sales of both new and existing homes have dropped sharply from their peak in the summer of 2005, the inventory of unsold homes has risen substantially, and single-family housing starts have fallen by roughly one-third since the beginning of 2006.  Although a leveling-off of sales late last year suggested some stabilization of housing demand, the latest readings indicate a further stepdown in the first quarter.  Sales of new homes moved down to an appreciably lower level in February and March, and sales of existing homes have also come down on net since the beginning of this year.

 

How will developments in the subprime market affect the evolution of the housing market?  We know from data gathered under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act that a significant share of new loans used to purchase homes in 2005 (the most recent year for which these data are available) were nonprime (subprime or near-prime).  In addition, the share of securitized mortgages that are subprime climbed in 2005 and in the first half of 2006.  The rise in subprime mortgage lending likely boosted home sales somewhat, and curbs on this lending are expected to be a source of some restraint on home purchases and residential investment in coming quarters.  Moreover, we are likely to see further increases in delinquencies and foreclosures this year and next as many adjustable-rate loans face interest-rate resets.  All that said, given the fundamental factors in place that should support the demand for housing, we believe the effect of the troubles in the subprime sector on the broader housing market will likely be limited, and we do not expect significant spillovers from the subprime market to the rest of the economy or to the financial system.  The vast majority of mortgages, including even subprime mortgages, continue to perform well.  Past gains in house prices have left most homeowners with significant amounts of home equity, and growth in jobs and incomes should help keep the financial obligations of most households manageable." 

- Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve

May 17, 2007

 

Historical Context

 

"The economic profession was taken by surprise as a seemingly negligible turmoil, in
what was considered to be a rather remote segment of the US mortgage market, turned
into a global financial and economic crisis from 2007 to 2008. The serious repercussions
triggered by these events are still felt today. As a result, the crisis will likely effectuate the
most substantial paradigm changes in economic policy-making as well as in economic
theory. Since the outbreak of the crisis, the question about its origins has dominated the
policy and academic debate; the result being a plethora of articles investigating the roots of
this major event.

 

...

 

before the crisis, a unique  combination of fundamental innovations and geopolitical developments had led to a
decline in inflation and thus policy rates. At the same time, export-focused policies in Asia
shifted substantial amounts of capital into the market for US treasuries, thereby pushing
down long-term interest rates in the United States as well. These factors made loans
cheap. On the demand side, people apparently tried to offset a loss in relative income,
which led to significant growth in mortgages.


At the same time, the rise of institutional investors created a ready base of potential
buyers of securitised bonds. As securitised bonds were regarded as a substitute of insured
deposits (a view that turned out to be wrong), institutional investors’ mortgage market-related
holdings surged before the crisis.


As soon as trust in the underlying assets started to erode, the fragile structure imploded.
As a matter of fact, the creation of deposit equivalents outside the realm of deposit insurance
and the lack of a lender of last resort led to a new version of a classic 19th century bank run.
The effects of these ruptures are still felt today." 
- Paul Ramskogler, Tracing the origins of the financial crisis

OECD Journal: Financial Market Trends

 

Historical Accuracy

 

"Q: How could anybody think that giving loans to people without asking them to fully document their income and assets, or to people with extremely low credit scores, was a good idea?
A: Low-documentation loans were not a new invention. Before the boom, such loans were given to self-employed borrowers, for whom detailed income documentation could be very burdensome, or to wealthy borrowers who did not want to document their capital income. And perhaps not surprisingly, such borrowers do not default at particularly high rates. The problem was that this relatively weak statistical relationship between documentation and default was interpreted to imply that income and asset verification was not very important. This reliance on models based on data from a different environment is what opened the door for the proverbial “liar loans.”

 

As for credit scores, it is true that low-score borrowers defaulted at higher rates both before and during the crisis. But during the boom, their default rates were low enough to be compensated for by the higher interest rate charged to such borrowers; and during the bust the relative increase in foreclosures was actually larger for “prime” than for subprime borrowers.

 

Q: How could ratings agencies give AAA ratings to these highly risky securities? And why did anybody pay attention to them?
A: Much has been written about problems with the credit ratings process leading up to the crisis. What is often ignored is that the losses on AAA tranches primarily occurred for CDOs ; many of the “simple” AAA subprime MBS tranches did not end up suffering losses. In rating a CDO, ratings agencies had to make assumptions not just about the probability and cost of default of the underlying mortgages, but also about the correlations of these parameters across different pools of loans. The projected payments to investors can be very sensitive to these assumptions and, even if there had been no incentive problems for the ratings agencies, coming up with the right rating for these securities is extremely challenging.

 

People paid attention to the ratings in part because many investors, such as pension funds, are required to invest in only the highest-rated securities. And it is likely that at least some investors were not sufficiently aware of the issues surrounding the ratings."

- Hey Economist!  What did you think of the Big Short?

Jason Bram and Andreas Fuster, New York Federal Reserve

 

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The Film Itself

 

Storyline

 

"Based on the book by Michael Lewis (writer of Moneyball, Liar's Poker and Flash Boys, among others), the true story of a handful of investors who bet against the US mortgage market in 2006-7. Through their own research they discovered that the US mortgage backed securities market was a bubble about to burst, and they invested accordingly. What they didn't initially know was how structurally flawed the MBS system was, the level of corruption in the market...and the impact on the average person when the bubble burst."

 

Critic Opinion

 

"It sounds like a horror show: a doomsday epic about the 2008 financial crisis and the Wall Street wolves who got rich off it. Gone were the homes, jobs and savings of average Joes. But wait. As directed and written by Adam McKay – the dude behind Anchorman and other giddy hits with Will Ferrell, his partner on the website Funny or Die – The Big Short is hunting bigger game. I’d call it a Restoration comedy for right the fuck now, a farce fueled by rage against the machine that relentlessly kills ethics, and a hell of a hilarious time at the movies if you’re up for laughs that stick in your throat.

 

Based on the nonfiction bestseller by Michael Lewis, The Big Short is brilliantly constructed by McKay to hit where it hurts. A terrific Christian Bale pulls you right in as Michael Burry, an eccentric neurologist-turned-money-manager who pads around barefoot in his San Jose office, fiddling with his glass eye and banging drums. It’s Burry who figures out that those subprime home loans the banks hand out to bad credit risks are a disaster in the making.

 

Wall Street fat cats dismiss Burry as a crank. But not Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling), a Deutsche Bank dealmaker who relishes Burry’s idea to bet against the banks by shorting home loans that are bound to default. Gosling, a virtuoso of verbal sleaze, talks directly to the camera, and he’s volcanically fierce and funny. It’s Vennett who intensifies the big short by partnering with Mark Baum (Steve Carell), a hedge-fund manager who runs FrontPoint, a subsidiary of Morgan Stanley. Baum is a hardass. But he knows a good deal when it gets a thumbs-up from his trio of number crunchers (Rafe Spall, Hamish Linklater and Jeremy Strong). Baum is also the only character in the film with a working conscience. Carell is just tremendous, following his Oscar-nominated turn in Foxcatcher with a performance of comic cunning and shocking gravity. Likewise, Brad Pitt finds the disgust in Ben Rickert, a banker who’s paying for his sins by helping the environment – that is, until he uses two young money managers (Finn Wittrock and John Magaro) to bite the hand that fed him." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

 

User Opinion

 

"Definitely worth a watch. I'd read the book but was still impressed by the adaptation choices the script made and the performances were all solid. I liked how the end wasn't triumphalist at all: these guys all knew the system was fucked and they weren't rejoicing their brief advantage.

 

It's a movie every investor and analyst should see. Not because it'll stop them wanting to make lots of money, but just to prove that yes, a lot of people believing in something doesn't necessarily make it so." - @Hatebox

 

Factoids

 

The Big Short was directed by Adam McKay.  It received 37 points and 9 votes

 

bigshort-01.jpg

 

Countries Represented: Algeria (1), Austria (1), England (1), France (1), Israel (1), Korea (1), Japan (2), Spain (1), United States (8)

 

Time Periods Represented: 16th Century (1), 17th Century (1), 18th Century (1), 19th Century (1), 1930s (1), 1950s (1), 1960s (3), 21st Century (2), Classical Period (1), Middle Ages (1), World War 1/1910s (1), World War 2/1940s (3)

 

Cross Section of Times and Countries: 18th Century - United States (1), 19th Century - United States (1), 21st Century - United States (2), 1930s - Korea (1), 1950s - Algeria (1), 1960s - United States (3), Classical Period - Israel (1), Middle Ages - England (1), Sengoku Period - Japan (1), Tokugawa Shogunate - Japan (1), World War 1 - France (1), World War 2/1940s - Spain (1), World War 2 - Austria (1), World War 2 - United States (1)

 

Directors Represented: Park Chan-Wook (1), David Fincher (2), Anthoney Harvey (1), Terry Jones (1), Masaki Kobayashi (1), Akira Kurosawa (1), Michael Mann (1), Penny Marshall (1), Adam McKay (1), Theodore Melfi (1), Sam Mendes (1), Gillo Pontecorvo (1), Steven Spielberg (1), Oliver Stone (1), Guillermo Del Torro (1), Robert Wise (1)

 

Decades Represented: 60s (4), 70s (1), 80s (2), 90s (2), 00s (2), 10s (6)

 

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9 hours ago, The Panda said:

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"I will find you! No matter how long it takes, no matter how far. I will find you!"

 

Historical Setting: The French and Indian War, Colonial New York

 

Source from the Period

 

"Coll. Bird accused them of having again broke their Promise, by taking an Indian Girl from an English Man's House, and four Indian Boys Prisoners. They excused this, by its being done by the Parties that were out when the Peace was concluded, who knew nothing of it; which Accident they had provided against in their Articles. They said, the four Boys were given to the Relations of those Men that were lost; and it would be difficult to obtain their Restoration: But they at last promised to deliver them up.

 

The Senakas and Mohawks declared themselves free of any Blame, and chid the other Nations.  So that we may still observe the Influence which the French Priests had obtained over those other Nations, and to what Christian like Purpose they used it.  The Mohawks Speaker said, "Where shall I seek the Chain of Peace? Where shall I find it but upon our Path? And whither doth our Path lead us, but into this House? This is a House of Peace;" after this he sang all the Links of the Chain over. He afterwards sang by Way of Admonition to the Onondagas, Oneydoes, and Cayugas, and concluded all with a Song to the Virginia Indians.

 

The French Priests however still employed their Influence over the Onnondagas, Cayugas, and Oneydoes; and it was easy for them to spirit up the Indians (naturally revengeful) against their old Enemies. A Party of the Oneydoes went out two Years after this against the Wayanoak Indians, Friends of Virginia, and killed some of the People of Virginia, who assisted those Indians. They took six Prisoners, but restored them at Albany, with an Excuse, that they did not know they were Friends of Virginia. But Coll. Dungan on this Occasion told them, That he only had kept all the English in North America from joining together to destroy them; that if ever he should hear of the like Complaint, he would dig up the Hatchet, and join with the rest of the English to cut them off Root and Branch; for there were many Complaints made of him to the King by the English, as well as by the Governor of Canada, for his favouring of them. We have now gone through the material Transactions which the Five Nations had with the English, in which we find the English pursuing nothing but peaceable and Christian-like Measures; and the Five Nations (tho' Barbarians) living with the People of New-York, like good Neighbours and faithful Friends, and generally with all the English also, except when they were influenced by the Jesuites; at the same Time, one cannot but admire the Zeal, Courage, and Resolution of these Jesuites, that would adventure to live among Indians at War with their Nation; and the better to carry their Purposes, to comply with. all the Humours and Manners of such a wild People, so as not to be distinguished by Strangers from meer Indians. One of them, named Milet, remained with the Oneydoes till after the Year 1694; he was advanced to the Degree of a Sachem, and had so great an Influence over them, that the other Nations could not prevail with them to part with him. While he lived with them, the Oneydoes were frequently turned against the Southern Indians (Friends of the English southern Colonies) and were always wavering in their Resolutions against the French at Canada.

 

We shall now see what Effect the Policy of the French had, who pursued very different Measures from the English." 

-Onandogas and Cayugas: Iroquois Chiefs Address the Governors of New York and Virginia (1684)

 

Historical Context

 

"The first two decades of the eighteenth century brought a shift away from those aspects of Iroquois warfare that had been most socially disruptive. As the Iroquois freed themselves of many, though by no means all, of the de mographic, economic, and diplomatic pressures that had made seventeenth  century warfare so devastating, the mourning  ar began to resume some of its traditional functions in Iroquois culture. As the Five Nations made peace with their old western and northern foes, Iroquois mourning  ar raids came to focus on enemies the Iroquois called “Flatheads”— vague epithet for the Catawbas and other tribes on the frontiers of Virginia and the Carolinas.113 Iroquois and “Flathead” war parties had traded blows during the 1670s and 1680s, conflict had resumed about 1707, and after the arrival of the Tuscaroras in the 1710s Iroquois raiding parties attacked the “Flatheads” regularly and al most exclusively.114 The Catawbas and other southeastern Indians sided with the Carolinians in the Tuscarora War of 1711– 713, bringing them into fur ther conflict with warriors from the Five Nations, who fought alongside the Tuscaroras.115 After the Tuscaroras moved north, Iroquois Flathead” warfare increased in intensity and lasted— espite several peace treaties— ntil the era of the American Revolution. This series of mourning  ars exasperated English officials from New York to the Carolinas, who could conceive no ra tional explanation for the conflicts except the intrigues of French envoys who delighted in stirring up trouble on English frontiers.


Canadian authorities did indeed encourage Iroquois warriors with arms and presents. The French were happy for the chance to harass British settle ments and to strike blows against Indians who troubled French inhabitants of New Orleans and the Mississippi Valley.117 Yet the impetus for raiding the “Flatheads” lay with the Iroquois, not the French. At Onondaga in 1710, when emissaries from New York blamed French influence for the campaigns and presented a wampum belt calling for a halt to hostilities, a Seneca orator dis missed their arguments: “When I think of the Brave Warriours that hav[e] been slain by the Flatheads I can Govern my self no longer. . . . I reject your Belt for the Hatred I bear to the Flatheads can never be forgotten.” The “Flatheads” were an ideal target for the mourning  ars demanded by Iro quois women and warriors, for with conflict channeled southward, warfare with northern and western nations that, in the past, had brought disaster could be avoided. In addition, war with the Flatheads placated both Canadian authorities and pro  rench Iroquois factions, since the raids countered a pro  English trade policy with a military policy useful to the French. And, from the perspective of Iroquois  nglish relations, the southern campaigns posed few risks. New York officials alternately forbade and countenanced raids against southern Indians as the fortunes of frontier war in the Carolinas and the intrigues of intercolonial politics shifted. But even when the governors of the Carolinas, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York did agree on schemes to impose peace, experience with English military impotence had taught the Iroquois that the governors could do little to stop the conflict.


While the diplomatic advantages were many, perhaps the most important aspect of the Iroquois  lathead conflicts was the partial return they allowed to the traditional ways of the mourning  ar. By the 1720s the Five Nations had not undone the ravages of the preceding century, yet they had largely extricated themselves from the socially disastrous wars of the fur trade and of the European empires. And though prisoners no longer flowed into Iroquois villages in the floods of the seventeenth century, the southern raids provided enough captives for occasional mourning and condolence rituals that dried Iroquois tears and reminded the Five Nations of their superiority over their enemies. In the same letter of 1716 in which missionary Andrews noted the growing independence of the Iroquois since the Tuscarora had settled among them and the southern wars had intensified, he also vividly described the re ception recently given to captives of the Onondagas and Oneidas.120 Iroquois warfare was again binding Iroquois families and villages together."

- Trade, Land and Power Chapter 4 War and Culture: The Iroquois Experience by Daniel K. Richter

 

Historical Accuracy

 

"For UCLA American history Prof. Joyce Appleby, the movie’s focus upon the love affair between the frontier scout Hawkeye (Daniel Day-Lewis) and his ladylove Cora (Madeleine Stowe), set against the backdrop of the British surrender of Fort William Henry to the French, is “an excellent way to interest people in history.”  Appleby, whose most popular class at UCLA is the survey course “Pre-Revolutionary America to the Civil War,” went to the film earlier this week at the request of The Times, but she had already recommended that her students see it.

 

“I’m thrilled if they’re interested in learning more and I take a great deal of pleasure in demonstrating how it’s inaccurate. When you explain its inaccuracies, you teach something.”  Appleby, a published authority on 17th- and 18th-Century British and American history and past president of the Assn. of American Historians, lauds director Mann’s attention to detail: the costumes, sets and use of the French and Indian languages. Production notes distributed by 20th Century Fox, the studio that made the movie, list numerous experts hired for the project--from an 18th-Century frontier consultant to Delaware language instructors.  She said the overall look of the picture “certainly creates the sense of the trackless wilderness” that then existed in the lush wilderness of the upper Ohio River Valley, where the novel was set. (The movie was shot in North Carolina, where virgin forests resembling those once found in the Fort William Henry area of upper New York state still exist.)

 

One of Appleby’s criticisms of Mann’s picture is odd given the director’s reputation for the visceral treatment of subjects. A critical scene in which Col. Duncan Munro (Maurice Roeves) and his British troops are attacked by Indians led by the vengeful Huron Magua (Wes Studi) in an open field after they surrender Fort William Henry to the victorious Marquis de Montcalm (Patrice Chereau) is “much less grisly” than in the actual 1757 event, she said.The Hurons, who had allied themselves with the French to trade furs for guns and other goods, overtook the British inside Fort William Henry despite Montcalm’s assurances to Munro his troops would be safe. Appleby said the Indians went after scalps first inside the fort’s surgery ward--where soldiers were most vulnerable--killing women and children later. An estimated 250 died, another thousand fled."

- Jane Galbraith, LA Times

 

Edward-Braddock-British-troops-French-an

 

The Film Itself

 

The Story

 

"The last members of a dying Native American tribe, the Mohicans -- Uncas, his father Chingachgook, and his adopted half-white brother Hawkeye -- live in peace alongside British colonists. But when the daughters of a British colonel are kidnapped by a traitorous scout, Hawkeye and Uncas must rescue them in the crossfire of a gruesome military conflict of which they wanted no part: the French and Indian War."

 

Critic Opinion

 

"Modern readers who find "The Last of the Mohicans" heavy sledding will be glad to know they are not alone. "Cooper's word-sense was singularly dull," Mark Twain wrote in his famous essay "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses." And: "If Cooper had any real knowledge of Nature's ways of doing things, he had a most delicate art in concealing the fact." And: "It would be very difficult to find a really clever 'situation' in Cooper's books, and still more difficult to find one of any kind which he has failed to render absurd by his handling of it."

 

The question of the hour, therefore, is why this most stupefying of American classics has now been brought back to the screen. Even in its 1936 version, which starred Randolph Scott, "The Last of the Mohicans" was thought to be badly dated, and so stodgy it required considerable modification to allow its hero and heroine a genteel kiss. Think of "Robin Hood," "Dances With Wolves," thrilling scenery and Daniel Day-Lewis running bare-chested through the forest if you want to grasp the real impetus behind this latest Cooper revival.

 

Actually, these are not bad reasons to have made the handsome, swashbuckling, peculiarly prescient epic that "The Last of the Mohicans" has now become. Drawing upon the novel with merciful selectivity, and adding such a contemporary flavor that the film's woodsmen often have a laid-back air, Michael Mann has directed a sultrier and more pointedly responsible version of this story. The film makers may have done a better job of making their own tomahawks and rebuilding Fort William Henry than of breathing sense into their material, but the results are still riveting. A movie whose crew included a mountaineer, several "greensmen" and a meteorologist is a movie with a keen sense of natural spectacle." - Janet Maslin, The New York Times

 

BOT User Opinion

 

"A lush, beautiful and sweeping action adventure. The soaring and gorgeous score is an all-timer (I adored the violin motif that played during the final chase scene on the mountainside, and the achingly beautiful theme when DDL told the story of the sun, moon and the stars).  The movie also shows that you don't need three and a half hours to tell an epic story." - @The Stingray

 

Factoids

 

The Last of the Mohicans was directed by Michael Mann and was not a cyber-thriller that was never released in China.  It received 37 points and 7 votes.

 

10.jpg?x13370

 

Countries Represented: Algeria (1), Austria (1), England (1), France (1), Israel (1), Korea (1), Japan (2), Spain (1), United States (7)

 

Time Periods Represented: 16th Century (1), 17th Century (1), 18th Century (1), 19th Century (1), 1930s (1), 1950s (1), 1960s (3), 21st Century (1), Classical Period (1), Middle Ages (1), World War 1/1910s (1), World War 2/1940s (3)

 

Cross Section of Times and Countries: 18th Century - United States (1), 19th Century - United States (1), 21st Century - United States (1), 1930s - Korea (1), 1950s - Algeria (1), 1960s - United States (3), Classical Period - Israel (1), Middle Ages - England (1), Sengoku Period - Japan (1), Tokugawa Shogunate - Japan (1), World War 1 - France (1), World War 2/1940s - Spain (1), World War 2 - Austria (1), World War 2 - United States (1)

 

Directors Represented: Park Chan-Wook (1), David Fincher (2), Anthoney Harvey (1), Terry Jones (1), Masaki Kobayashi (1), Akira Kurosawa (1), Michael Mann (1), Penny Marshall (1), Theodore Melfi (1), Sam Mendes (1), Gillo Pontecorvo (1), Steven Spielberg (1), Oliver Stone (1), Guillermo Del Torro (1), Robert Wise (1)

 

Decades Represented: 60s (4), 70s (1), 80s (2), 90s (2), 00s (2), 10s (5)

 

 

 

This is a Very B- Movie in the first 2 hours

 

 

But the ending is something you never forget... Each time I drive in the wild forests of Canada the Soundtrack plays in my head...

This movie likely has the ending in terms of using score to match action i have seen.

 

 

 

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"I don't want to survive. I want to live."

 

Historical Setting: Antebellum Period, United States

 

Source from the Period

 

"As I stood there, feelings of unutterable agony overwhelmed me. I was conscious that I had subjected myself to unimaginable punishment. The reaction that followed my extreme ebullition of anger produced the most painful sensations of regret. An unfriended, helpless slave—what could I do, what could I say, to justify, in the remotest manner, the heinous act I had committed, of resenting a white man's contumely and abuse. I tried to pray—I tried to beseech my Heavenly Father to sustain me in my sore extremity, but emotion choked my utterance, and I could only bow my head upon my hands and weep. For at least an hour I remained in this situation, finding relief only in tears, when, looking up, I beheld Tibeats, accompanied by two horsemen, coming down the bayou. They rode into the yard, jumped from their horses, and approached me with large whips, one of them also carrying a coil of rope.

 

"Cross your hands," commanded Tibeats, with the addition of such a shuddering expression of blasphemy as is not decorous to repeat.

 

"You need not bind me, Master Tibeats, I am ready to go with you anywhere," said I.

 

One of his companions then stepped forward, swearing if I made the least resistance he would break my head—he would tear me limb from limb—he would cut my black throat—and giving wide scope to other similar expressions. Perceiving any importunity altogether vain, I crossed my hands, submitting humbly to whatever disposition they might please to make of me. Thereupon Tibeats tied my wrists, drawing the rope around them with his utmost strength. Then he bound my ankles in the same manner. In the meantime the other two had slipped a cord within my elbows, running it across my back, and tying it firmly. It was utterly impossible to move hand or foot. With a remaining piece of rope Tibeats made an awkward noose, and placed it about my neck.

"Now, then," inquired one of Tibeats' companions, "where shall we hang the *******"

- 12 Years a Slave: Narrative of Solomon Northup a Citizen of New York Kidnapped in Washington City in 1841 and Rescued in 1853 from a Cottage Plantation Near the Red River, Louisiana

by Solomon Northup

 

Historical Context

 

"In the decades before the Civil War a clandestine network of human traffickers and slave traders stole away thousands of free African Americans from the northern states in order to sell them into slavery in the Deep South. Solomon Northup, the author of Twelve Years a Slave, is now the most recognizable person to be kidnapped and enslaved in this way, but his fate befell countless others.  Philadelphia was this Reverse Underground Railroad’s northern terminus. The city’s proximity to the Mason-Dixon line, which divided the mostly free North from the expanding slave South, made its many free black residents attractive targets for professional people-snatchers. Those captured could fetch up to the equivalent of $15,000 in today’s money in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, three of the new territories and states rising up along the Gulf Coast.

 

The American settlers swarming into that region demanded a continuous supply of forced labor to cut sugarcane and pick cotton. They would take almost anyone—not only legally traded slaves from places like Virginia and Maryland, but also illegally trafficked free people, many of them children younger than 16.  We know very little about this Reverse Underground Railroad. Its conductors and station agents worked tirelessly to remain untouchable, and the identities of all but a handful still remain a secret. Only rarely do their names and crimes appear in surviving police files or trial transcripts, their low profile the result of the years they spent in the shadows, protected by bribes, avarice, and indifference.

 

In an absorbing evening, historian Richard Bell examines the prevalence of this heinous practice, the routes the kidnappers took, and the techniques they used to lure free black people. He considers the dramatic impact these kidnappings had on American history: accelerating the spread of slavery into new corners of the country, radicalizing black communities across the free states, and focusing the public’s attention for the first time on the suffering of black families forcibly separated by slavery. He also discusses the actions of state and city governments to end the kidnappings and the ways in which some children and adult victims were rescued." - The Reverse Underground Railroad: Slavery and Kidnapping in Pre-Civil War America

 

Historical Accuracy

 

"At the beginning of 12 Years a Slave, the kidnapped freeman Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), has a painful sexual encounter with an unnamed female slave in which she uses his hand to bring herself to orgasm before turning away in tears. The woman's desperation, Solomon's reserve, and the fierce sadness of both, is depicted with an unflinching still camera which documents a moment of human contact and bitter comfort in the face of slavery's systematic dehumanization. It's scenes like these in the film, surely, that lead critic Susan Wloszczyna to state that watching 12 Years a Slave makes you feel you have "actually witnessed American slavery in all its appalling horror for the first time."

 

And yet, for all its verisimilitude, the encounter never happened. It appears nowhere in Northup's autobiography, and it’s likely he would be horrified at the suggestion that he was anything less than absolutely faithful to his wife. Director Steve McQueen has said that he included the sexual encounter to show "a bit of tenderness ... Then after she's climaxes, she's back … in hell." The sequence is an effort to present nuance and psychological depth — to make the film's depiction of slavery seem more real. But it creates that psychological truth by interpolating an incident that isn't factually true.


This embellishment is by no means an isolated case in the film. For instance, in the film version, shortly after Northup is kidnapped, he is on a ship bound south. A sailor enters the hold and is about to rape one of the slave women when a male slave intervenes. The sailor unhesitatingly stabs and kills him. This seems unlikely on its face—slaves are valuable, and the sailor is not the owner. And, sure enough, the scene is not in the book. A slave did die on the trip south, but from smallpox, rather than from stabbing. Northup himself contracted the disease, permanently scarring his face. It seems likely, therefore, that in this instance the original text was abandoned so that Ejiofor's beautiful, expressive, haunting features would not go through the entire movie covered with artificial Hollywood scar make-up. Instead of faithfulness to the text, the film chooses faithfulness to Ejiofor's face, unaltered by trickery." - Noah Berlatsky, The Atlantic

 

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The Film Itself

 

The Story

 

"Based on an incredible true story of one man's fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty personified by a malevolent slave owner, as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon's chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist will forever alter his life."

 

Critic Opinion

 

"Based on the 19th-century memoir of Solomon Northup (adapted here by screenwriter John Ridley), 12 Years a Slave follows the tribulations of an educated carpenter, musician and family man from New York state who, in 1841, was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the south – a shockingly common phenomenon. Stripped of his past, his identity and even (in the eyes of the law) his humanity, the renamed "Platt" becomes the property of plantation owner Ford (Benedict Cumberbatch), whose comparatively benign and sympathetic demeanour belies his slaver status. But after incurring the ire of sadistic farmhand Tibeats (Paul Dano), "Platt" is sold down the river to Epps (Michael Fassbender), a broiling cauldron of psychotic rage whose desire for slave girl Patsey (Lupita Nyong'o) appears to be pushing him ever further into an abyss of uncontrollable cruelty.

 

Despite McQueen's repeated assertion that he has no distinct "style" (the functional marriage of form and content is everything), critics have identified recurring tropes in his feature films, such as the audaciously lengthy single takes of Hunger (the priest/prisoner interview) and Shame (Sissy's song), which appear talismanic. At a deeper level, there's a consistent interest in the punishment of the flesh that dates back to his early moving-picture projects (the wrestling/teasing of Bear) and underwrites each of his three feature films, in which bodies are variously starved, entangled and beaten in obliterating fashion. The stench of hanging and flogging that drifts in the steamy Louisiana air of 12 Years a Slave makes watching occasionally unbearable – I looked away more than once; not a criticism (we are worlds away from the exploitational tones of Django Unchained), more an acknowledgement of the film's awful raw power. One sequence in which Northup is strung up like some strange fruit from a tree while life on the plantation ambles on around him achieves a surreal intensity that recalls the haunting poetry of Terrence Malick's existential war movie The Thin Red Line." - Mark Kermode, The Guardian

 

BOT User Opinion

 

"The word to describe this film is raw. This never really approaches the point of saccharine that many films typically would go, and it is more powerful because of it. The cast across the board is excellent, with the exception of Brad Pitt, as Gopher mentioned. Not that Pitt is a bad actor, but he is distracting. Once he appears, sporting a toned down Aldo Raines accent, it sticks out compared to the rest of the cast. I thought the best performance of the film was Michael Fassbender, and I hope to see him win a Supporting Actor award come February/March. Ejiofor certainly deserves a nod and maybe the win, but I could go either way with Tom Hanks or him right now. Of course, the fact that Hanks has already won twice means the edge goes to Ejiofor, who also had the more difficult role to portray. It's not really about showy scenes, but more about agonizing looks of despair and conveying that feeling to the audience that impresses the most." - @MrPink

 

Factoids

 

12 Years a Slave was directed by Steve McQueen.  It received 37 points and 11 votes.

 

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Countries Represented: Algeria (1), Austria (1), England (1), France (1), Israel (1), Korea (1), Japan (2), Spain (1), United States (9)

 

Time Periods Represented: 16th Century (1), 17th Century (1), 18th Century (1), 19th Century (2), 1930s (1), 1950s (1), 1960s (3), 21st Century (2), Classical Period (1), Middle Ages (1), World War 1/1910s (1), World War 2/1940s (3)

 

Cross Section of Times and Countries: 18th Century - United States (1), 19th Century - United States (2), 21st Century - United States (2), 1930s - Korea (1), 1950s - Algeria (1), 1960s - United States (3), Classical Period - Israel (1), Middle Ages - England (1), Sengoku Period - Japan (1), Tokugawa Shogunate - Japan (1), World War 1 - France (1), World War 2/1940s - Spain (1), World War 2 - Austria (1), World War 2 - United States (1)

 

Directors Represented: Park Chan-Wook (1), David Fincher (2), Anthoney Harvey (1), Terry Jones (1), Masaki Kobayashi (1), Akira Kurosawa (1), Michael Mann (1), Penny Marshall (1), Adam McKay (1), Steve McQueen (1), Theodore Melfi (1), Sam Mendes (1), Gillo Pontecorvo (1), Steven Spielberg (1), Oliver Stone (1), Guillermo Del Torro (1), Robert Wise (1)

 

Decades Represented: 60s (4), 70s (1), 80s (2), 90s (2), 00s (2), 10s (7)

 

 

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"I love the smell of napalm in the morning."

 

Historical Setting: 1968 Vietnam War

 

Source from the Period

 

"My father was a captain in the Air Force when I was very young, so my family moved to the
Tan Son Nhat Airport and we lived in a military community there. At that time, I still remember,
that the U.S. troops were still present in Vietnam so the airport was always noisy…always filled

with plane noises…helicopters, and soldiers who were on training in the morning, so I only
recall that my life was surrounded by soldiers ever since I acquired my intelligence. Because of
all the noises associated with the planes & soldiers who were on training at the time, I didn’t
know much about Saigon..about what life was like in a city much; I only saw it on TV and was
able to go several times; at the time I participated in the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth
Society..that was one, girl scout was 2. One time, I and my other friends went to the city to make
donations for a fundraiser so I vaguely recall images of the city as a thriving, crowded place and
it was very beautiful; it smelled great and had lots of delicious food which I didn’t know if I ever
get to try all that food because even though my father was captain in the Air Force and my
mother was a saleswoman, our family life was very simple and we weren’t very wealthy. And
also because there were a lot of children in my family and we had to live with our grandparents
(my maternal grandmother & my paternal grandfather). My grandmother passed away early &
my grandfather lived with us after her death. Basically, my family was surrounded by this snug
military community and in it there was an elementary school and a middle school at which 9th
grade was the highest level; Vietnam was very strange; we went to school until we reached 9th
grade then we had to take an exam to graduate. I was living in peace and harmony within that
community at the time, was going to church everyday because my parents and my grandparents
taught me to always think of God in the morning, read the Bible, take a nap after get home from
school at noon, continue school in the afternoon, then go to church. I, my younger siblings, my
family, and everyone went to church everyday; those are the things that I still remember about
my childhood."

- Nancy Nhung Phan, Vietnamese American Oral History Project at UC Irvine

 

Historical Context

 

" Guerrilla warfare is a very unconventional style of warfare; it refers to small conflicts where groups of stealthy combatants use the element of surprise to eliminate the opponent. This tactic was widely used by the North Vietnamese Communists, also called the Vietcong. During some ambushes the Vietcong guerrilla fighters would sneak up on unaware U.S. troops, attack them, and leave before risking capture.  The Vietcong would also pose as citizens or farmers then, when least expected, they would surprise attack U.S. troops using arms provided by Ho Chi Minh. Ho Chi Minh was a Vietnamese Marxist revolutionary leader and also the president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. He ordered an elaborate 200 mile long tunnel system to be dug to aid the guerrilla fighters in their ability to move from place to place undetected by U.S. infantry.

 

                By about 1965 Vietcong soldiers had access to Chinese versions of the AK-47; they also had heavy, medium, and light machine guns. The heavy machine guns were mainly used as anti-aircraft weapons, most effective against U.S. helicopters. Other weapons such as land mines, and booby traps were hand crafted in North Vietnamese villages. The Vietcong also got aid from an unexpected source: they would scavenge the country side for unexploded American bombs and land mines and use the explosives in bombs of their own. In one year approximately 20,000 tons of explosives could be found in unexploded or dud American bombs.

 

                When America entered the war they planned on winning using traditional methods, meaning that the war would be won by conquering land. However, the U.S. troops weren’t used to the jungle terrain and General Westmoreland realized that the only way the war could be won was through a method of attrition. This means that a war isn’t won by who has more land, but won instead by whomever eliminates more opposing troops. American troops were actually very successful in using this method; they killed over two times as many soldiers as they lost. However this style of warfare enraged many peace groups in America because it targeted civilians as well.  Many riots and protests sparked throughout the United States."

- Guerrilla Warfare and Attrition Warfare, The Vietnam War History

 

Historical Accuracy

 

"To many Americans, the Vietnam war was an American extravaganza, staged in Vietnam. To concede that it was a civil war is to relegate America to a supporting role in someone else's drama. But that is exactly what it was: someone else's drama. In spite of all the billions spent by the US, the Vietnam war was essentially a Vietnamese affair. The stakes were simply much higher for them.  To call it a civil war would also be to acknowledge ideological differences among the Vietnamese, an impossible concept if one perceives them as monolithic and incapable of squabbling among themselves. It is meaningful that Kurtz got into trouble for murdering four south Vietnamese "double agents". According to Willard: "Kurtz orders the assassination of three Vietnamese men and one woman. Two of the men were colonels in the south Vietnamese army. Enemy activity in his old sector dropped off to nothing." Scratch a south Vietnamese, the movie is saying, and you'll find a north Vietnamese.

 

These murdered four at least share the distinction of being the only Vietnamese with actual names in this movie, as glimpsed on their ID cards. The rest are just a faceless horde scampering in the background, none more so than the montagnards. Unlike the Vietnamese double agents, they are not two-faced. To be a double agent, one has to be sly, deceitful, hypocritical - mental operations these folks are apparently not capable of performing. In fact, they seem incapable of speech: none of them has a single line in the movie. The montagnards are so simple, so childlike, they can be scared away with sirens. Hard to square that with the fearless warriors supposedly undaunted by artilleries and napalm strikes. Fulfilling the white man's fantasy, they worship Kurtz like a god, and after he is killed by Willard, they are ready to prostrate themselves before him too.

 

The montagnards are also prized by Kurtz because they know how to tap into their primordial instincts: they know how to kill without feelings, just like the Viet Cong. Kurtz recounts his days in the special forces: "We went into a camp to inoculate the children. We left the camp after we had inoculated the children for polio, and this old man came running after us and he was crying ... We went back there and they had come and hacked off every inoculated arm. There they were in a pile ... a pile of little arms. And I remember I cried. I wept like some grandmother. I wanted to tear my teeth out. I didn't know what I wanted to do. And I want to remember it. I never want to forget it. I never want to forget. And then I realised ... like I was shot. Like I was shot with a diamond. A diamond bullet right through my forehead. And I thought my God, the genius of that. The genius. The will to do that. Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realised they were stronger than we. These men who fought with their hearts, who had families, who had children, who were filled with love, but they had the strength to do that. If I had 10 divisions of those men our troubles here would be over very quickly."" 

Apocalypse Lies, The Guardian

 

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The Film Itself

 

The Story

 

"It is the height of the war in Vietnam, and U.S. Army Captain Willard is sent by Colonel Lucas and a General to carry out a mission that, officially, 'does not exist - nor will it ever exist'. The mission: To seek out a mysterious Green Beret Colonel, Walter Kurtz, whose army has crossed the border into Cambodia and is conducting hit-and-run missions against the Viet Cong and NVA. The army believes Kurtz has gone completely insane and Willard's job is to eliminate him. Willard, sent up the Nung River on a U.S. Navy patrol boat, discovers that his target is one of the most decorated officers in the U.S. Army. His crew meets up with surfer-type Lt-Colonel Kilgore, head of a U.S Army helicopter cavalry group which eliminates a Viet Cong outpost to provide an entry point into the Nung River. After some hair-raising encounters, in which some of his crew are killed, Willard, Lance and Chef reach Colonel Kurtz's outpost, beyond the Do Lung Bridge. Now, after becoming prisoners of Kurtz, will Willard & the others be able to fulfill their mission?"

 

Critic Opinion

 

"During the Vietnam War Captain Benjamin L. Willard (Martin Sheen), a special operative (i.e. assassin), is ordered by military intelligence to find a Special Forces commander who has flipped out and established his own maniacal army in Cambodia, Colonel Walter E. Kurtz (Marlon Brando), and "terminate with extreme prejudice." Willard's journey upriver through Vietnam is superficially an action adventure, but equally obviously an allegory of war's insanity and a metaphor for the journey into one's self. In the last 30 minutes, when Brando makes his appearance as the crazy Kurtz, the film becomes a bewildering philosophical search through improvisation and chaos — for answers and a resolution to the mysteries of madness and evil.

 

Francis Ford Coppola's astonishing Vietnam epic was conceived in 1969 and developed over five years by gung-ho, pro-war writer John Milius with Coppola's Zoetrope colleague and fellow anti-war liberal George Lucas (originally set to direct) as a loose adaptation of Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness, made pertinent to the war then being fought. The novella is about a man's journey up the Congo to find Kurtz, a cultured man who intended to bring civilisation to the jungle and instead became a savage. Milius' other main source of inspiration was Homer's epic poem about Odysseus's ten-year voyage home from the Trojan War, The Odyssey, prompting Coppola in a moment of levity amid his exhausting travails to dub his movie "The Idiocy."

 

The struggles and disasters of filming what became Coppola's obsession are legend, the subject of several books and the fascinating documentary Hearts Of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991). A 16-week shoot in the Philippines became 238 days of principal photography between early 1976 and summer 77. In the first month Harvey Keitel was fired as Willard because his performance was not sufficiently impassive. The Philippine Army kept recalling its helicopters in the middle of takes to chase Marxist rebels. A typhoon destroyed sets, forcing a hiatus. Stress, frustration, heat, booze and drugs did in people's heads. In March, 1977, Sheen, only 36, suffered a near-fatal heart attack, but returned to the fray five weeks later. Brando showed up overweight and unprepared, forcing yet another re-think of how the hell to end the picture before it killed them all."

- Angie Errigo, Empire

 

BOT User Opinion

 

"This is certainly one of the best films ever made and it is so because of how dark it is and how realistic it feels. Martin Sheen is so brilliant that it is scary. And of course who can forget Robert Duval's performance. But what makes this film over the top and the classic that it is, is Coppola's attention to detail. The helicopters flying in the background, the explosions over the horizon, the unseen enemy lurking imminently in the darkness. This is the first war movie that I had seen that made me think I knew what the horrors of war were really about. With everything this movie stands for, it is a shame that it lost best director that year and it is really a tragedy that Kramer vs. Kramer beat it out for best picture. What a terrific film" - @baumer

 

Factoids

 

Apocalypse Now was directed by Francis Ford Coppola.  It received 38 points and 6 votes.

 

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Countries Represented: Algeria (1), Austria (1), England (1), France (1), Israel (1), Korea (1), Japan (2), Spain (1), United States (9), Vietnam (1)

 

Time Periods Represented: 16th Century (1), 17th Century (1), 18th Century (1), 19th Century (2), 1930s (1), 1950s (1), 1960s (4), 21st Century (2), Classical Period (1), Middle Ages (1), World War 1/1910s (1), World War 2/1940s (3)

 

Cross Section of Times and Countries: 18th Century - United States (1), 19th Century - United States (2), 21st Century - United States (2), 1930s - Korea (1), 1950s - Algeria (1), 1960s - United States (3), 1960s - Vietnam (1), Classical Period - Israel (1), Middle Ages - England (1), Sengoku Period - Japan (1), Tokugawa Shogunate - Japan (1), World War 1 - France (1), World War 2/1940s - Spain (1), World War 2 - Austria (1), World War 2 - United States (1)

 

Directors Represented: Park Chan-Wook (1), Francis Ford Coppola (1), David Fincher (2), Anthoney Harvey (1), Terry Jones (1), Masaki Kobayashi (1), Akira Kurosawa (1), Michael Mann (1), Penny Marshall (1), Adam McKay (1), Steve McQueen (1), Theodore Melfi (1), Sam Mendes (1), Gillo Pontecorvo (1), Steven Spielberg (1), Oliver Stone (1), Guillermo Del Torro (1), Robert Wise (1)

 

Decades Represented: 60s (4), 70s (2), 80s (2), 90s (2), 00s (2), 10s (7)

 

 

 

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