Since the beginning of the film industry when the Thomas Edison Movie Company started to create movies about the Spanish-American battle in 1898. Over time, these films have explored themes such as comradeship, survival, sacrifice, hubris, inhumanity, social unrest, war, society, and the moral and ethical issues raised by armed conflict.
Given the strong and turbulent cosmos of the fight, filming can be daunting for the producers of war documentaries. For example, in the recent conflicts in Syria and Iraq, where filmmakers risked their lives to document the destruction and atrocities in both countries.
The passage of time has provided a greater perspective on the war and how to tell war stories. Historians and documentary filmmakers have gained access to more materials and archives of information about defeated nations and other parties to the conflict, which offers expanded context and insight into the effects of war on countries.
In contrast to the many documentaries about the two world wars told from the perspective of military victors, recent war stories are darker and more explicit, drawing on many people’s experiences. The film portrays the experiences of a Danish soldier who was sent to Afghanistan in 2009 to stabilize the country against the Taliban.
Father Soldier Son (2020)
He returned to his house to resume his relationship with his son, who idolized him. This father-soldier-son documentary follows the life of Sgt. First Class Brian Eisch, a decorated third-generation soldier wounded in Afghanistan. Troops were sent to the armadillo base in Helman province.
The Trials of Muhammad Ali (2013)
This documentary delves into the life of legendary heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali who refused to fight in the Vietnam War when he protested racism and became a global humanitarian figure. The life of legendary heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali protested racial inequality after refusing the Vietnam War and eventually became a humanitarian figure.
The Invisible Front (2014)
A captivating documentary on Lithuanian resistance to Soviet occupation that began during the Second World War and lasted through the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The film’s story is told through the experiences of Juozas Luksa, one of the group leaders, and his associates.
Why We Fight (2005)
Eugene Jarecki wrote and directed this polemic, which raised the question of the extent and influence of US military power. The film contains Dwight D. Eisenhower’s warning about the growing power of the military-industrial complex in his 1961 farewell address as president to the nation. It owes its name to the American propaganda film series about the Second World War.
Tears of Gaza (2010)
The subject of this film is the victims of the ongoing conflict between the Palestinians and Israel, who are without electricity, money, food and mourn the death of their loved ones. The film by Norwegian filmmaker Vibeke Lokkeberg shows the daily difficulties of Palestinian women and children in Gaza, one of the most densely populated areas on the planet. A young Ludin explores his father’s dark past through interviews with his sister, who refuses to accept the truth about his father.
S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine (2003)
The Khmer Rouge created a reign of terror in Cambodia at the end of the twentieth century until they were removed from power. This documentary about the Khmer Rouge killing machine focuses on the notorious S-21 prison (now a museum in Phnom Penh) and guards who witnessed atrocities.
The Ground Truth (2006)
This film is about young, patriotic Americans who commit to military service to fight in Iraq. She accompanies them through training and battle, battling their inner demons as they try to reintegrate into their families upon their return.
Hearts and Minds (1974)
The film won the prize for best documentary and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize of the Sundance Film Festival. Peter Davis’s 1974 film Heart of Mind was controversial for its time. A seminal film called on the United States to account for its involvement in Vietnam and relied heavily on interviews and newsreels.