Saturday, September 04, 2010


2404 has not turned into the War Channel, Discovery has already claimed that prize!
I was tempted to drop in the review of 9th Company and change the names and nationality, but that would do a disservice to both films. "Nefes" is another terrific variation on the "from training to combat" story.

I am not sure whether this is based on an actual battle like the 9th Company was, but that is neither here nor there to appreciate the film. The film is Turkish, and follows a small group of soldiers to a remote outpost in the mountains.

A standout performance by the commander is highlighted early in the film during a passionate 5 minute speech to his men standing in formation in the snow. I don't speak a lick of Turkish, but his delivery was so powerful I was glued to the screen. As this type of film goes, the entire ensemble of men we meet grab and hold us, making us care about their fate (which, of course, we already know).

The camera is excellent, to contrast with 9th Company again, where that camera felt organic this camera felt sharp and technical, a dispassionate eye that captured sniper fire and reaction. The music, poetry and song that infect this film and our team are as moving as the deadly combat.

This is the third film about war from another culture's perspective that has gained my attention and held it for days. The first was a Korean film, the second the Russian, and now this Turkish movie. I have, of course, seen the "home" versions, and one thing rings true: war is a plague that has little to do with civilian everyday life and yet infects entire nations with bitter and ugly pain.

That being said, if someone rolled a tank down my street to liberate me I would take up arms too.

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