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Foreign Film - Poland - Demony Wojny / Demons of War

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Demons of War - Demony Wojny
Bobuslav Linda, Olaf Lubaszenko, Zbiegnew Zamachowski
Directed by Wladyslawa Pasikowskiego
Polish with English subtitles
Poland 1998 - Facets 2009
97 minutes
www.facets.org

This foreign film DVD from Poland set in Bosnia where the Polish army is playing peacekeepers is a very modern war movie and a bit of a political thriller.  There are not that many recent war movies that tell the story of UN peacekeeping forces and the challenges they face. Just for that this Polish film stands out. Demony Wojny / Demons of War is also an excellent movie, foreign film or not, with solid acting, directing, and a captivating, original story.

In Demony Wojny / Demons of War Major Keller rescues 3 mercenaries from being shot by the local population and later sets them free. Someone accuses him of killing the mercenaries so a JAG officer is sent to investigate and another officer is sent to replace Keller at the end of the month. Then, all hell breaks loose when a Norwegian contingent calls for help and Major Keller decides to send a unit. To add to the difficulty, the major sent to replace Keller and the JAG guy go along on the mission to find something to accuse Keller of.

The political intrigue develops later and telling what it is would be a spoiler.

This foreign film DVD certainly has its moments of dark and sometimes light humor that add a lot to connecting with the characters. There’s even a standard dig at the French and their fighting abilities so it’s nice to know everybody shares that point of view.

It also respects the basic rules of war movies so the guy who says he is going to be as safe as if he was at home … and the supply sergeant will not let any material out before someone does the paperwork for it. Keller’s unit has its share of characters, gripers, and real soldiers.

In many ways, Demons of War / Demony Wojny is an indictment of how badly the UN supports its peacekeeping forces. How are you supposed to keep the peace when you can’t shoot back and have to wait for orders that tell you not to shoot back?

If you like foreign films or plain ol’ good movies, this DVD is excellent, even if the actress playing the Parisian journalist speaks French with one hell of a Polish accent.The subtitles seem quite accurate.


Richard Lanoie

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