Monday, December 6, 2010

El Alamein

Enzo Monteleone, 2002, Italy (8.1*)
A war film unlike any other you've likely seen as it covers the harrowing situation of Italian troops on the front line in North Africa. Little did we know in the west that the troops were basically given up for dead by the Italian command; men were forced to eat horses and drink their own urine when their water ran out. In spite of that, they bravely fought on as if they had a reason.

This film shows the nearly schizoid mindset of Mussolini, as instead of sending water to his troops, he sent a truckload of shoe polish so their boots would shine when they marched into Cairo, and his own personal horse so he could proudly ride in with the troops. Meanwhile the Italian positions were being overrun by Allied tanks, and the Italian soldiers were cut off from all supply lines.

This is a gritty and tough war film, one you won't easily forget. It is also a human story that follows one platoon, soldiers that were fighting on bravely in spite of the insanity of their government and military leaders. This should be on everyone's list of must-see dramatic war films, and on the large list of great Italian films, who seem to excel in realism.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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