All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front ★★★½

To me, there is one scene in this film that perfectly captures the madness of war: Torrential rain batters the German trenches which inevitably causes a flood, forcing soldiers to use their helmets as dippers in a desperate attempt to keep the water out. From the outside looking in, it is all a waste of time. But the soldiers go on, breathless, convincing themselves in the process there is purpose in their actions.

The movie did not show me anything I haven’t seen in other war films. Nonetheless, I think it is beautifully shot, the central characters are never boring, and it does a good job in creating a portrait that is the horrors of war.

As an aside, I propose a requirement: Politicians who choose the path of war should themselves be in the front lines. No exceptions. Then perhaps in their next lives, through our collective unconscious or subconscious as a culture or species, or by means of occult or magic, they would remember somehow the savagery, terror, and pointlessness of it all and actually choose the alternative.

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