Courtesy of Janus Metz

Armadillo is a war documentary about Danish soldiers fighting against the Taliban. It tours a military base in Helmond Province in Afghanistan for six months, following the lives of soldiers.

“I tried to give a new and balanced understanding of Western forces against Taliban in Afghanistan,” said Janus Metz, a director of the film.

However, Metz does not give any answer or opinion to the audience. He also failed to pick certain shots for the film to establish his idea.

“It is open to the whole question. It is more like a grabbing to find a sense of meaning,” Metz says.

Without narration, the film’s theme is established by conversations among soldiers, their family and local people in Afghanistan.

The soldiers call family members, work out, watch pornography and go to battle. The film captures the mindset of the soldiers who had to overcome the loneliness and misery of which war is made. With a brilliant editing and an elaborated sound effect, it is expressed very psychological and profound.

“It is a thoughtful idea what actually going on in Afghanistan,” Matz said. Matz’s film crew followed soldiers as they ran and shot in the field. They risked their lives for the footage. Strong tension was expressed from the shaking camera shots. The film keeps following the soldiers’ mindset even after they go back Denmark. Surprisingly, it seems there is not big difference before and after they went to Afghanistan.

The film won the Grand Prix de la Semaine de la Critique by French and international press in 2010.

Vox Rating: VVV

-Jieun Choi

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One Response to Movie review: Armadillo

  1. [...] in competition was a Danish film on their troops in Afghanistan, Armadillo by title, directed by Janus Metz.  It follows a handful of soldiers from their preparations in [...]

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