Memorial Day: War Films (Pt. 1)

With Memorial Day just around the corner, I know many people find themselves wanting to watch films which were representative of past wars or soldiers. Although inaccurate, films are the closest way in which audiences can identify with or “experience” the situations happening on war fronts and battle fields without actually being present. If you like watching films requiring men to risk their lives to deliver a simple message, Saving Private Ryan might be the one to tug at your heart strings. Or perhaps a film about servicemen returning to their lives in a post-war world would fill the filmic void… in that case, The Best Years of Our Lives is your best bet.

War films are often considered masculine or belong under the umbrella of male genres. To say that women are incapable of enjoying a war film undermines the ability of a great film to address all audiences. I know plenty of women whom enjoy Star Wars and male centered narratives… but I find myself fitting deeply into the system of a gender divide when it comes to war films. I’m not a fan of blood and guts and I will do anything to avoid watching that type of violence on films. Now, that might make my understanding of the realities of war less genuine… but it primarily revolves around personal taste and limits.

Coincidentally, my two favourite films regarding war will probably make everyone roll their eyes in disgust! I don’t know if they can necessarily be considered a “war film”, but the presence of war greatly affects the continuation of the narrative. Tomorrow, I would like to outline my two favourite films featuring war… though I won’t spoil the titles for you just yet, you’ll have to check back and see! I’ll give you a hint: both films star the same actress, Vivien Leigh. Before I babble on about my favourites, do you have any war films that you enjoy watching?


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