Last night I went with a group of friends to see Passchendaele, the new film by Paul Gross that follows the life of a Canadian soldier during WWI. This is the first movie rated 14A that I have reviewed on my blog so I am not recommending it to everyone (there are some gory war scenes and a few other scenes that might make some people uncomfortable). As a whole it was an excellent story about love, the realities of war, and self sacrifice. If you know me at all then you know how much I love movies that mix action and war with love stories (eg. Atonement, A Very Long Engagement, The Notebook etc). It was uniquely Canadian which is a perspective we don’t often see in an industry that is dominated by big budget American films. And as far as a Canadian movie is concerned the production quality was quite excellent.
My favorite part of the movie actually began when the movie ended. As the credits started to role clips, actually filmed during WWI, came up on the screen and played for a few minutes with a beautiful song (called After the War) in the background. Rather than the immediate sounds of seats flipping and people chatting about the film on the way out, the theater remained completely silent as everyone was drawn into these pictures and videos of real people who so bravely fought. I was challenged to think about how we live in a very comfortable peace and the thought of ever having to fight is so foreign in our minds. What incredible bravery, inner strength and national pride they must have had. As Remembrance Day approaches I am keenly aware of how thankful I am for men and women who did things I pray I will never have to do.