Title: Lone Survivor
Director: Peter Berg
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Eric Bana, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Alexander Ludwig.
Peter Berg’s war film is based on Marcus Luttrell’s book ‘Lone Survivor,’ that accounts the events of the failed United States navy SEALs mission, Operation Red Wings, during the war in Afghanistan.
Although at first the movie may seem strongly propagandistic of the American troops in Afghanistan – that we see literally torn to pieces by the talibans, with some extremely violent slow-motion frames that show the flesh being put through the worst imaginable tortures – throughout the story things even out. There aren’t just villains amongst the Afghans, as a matter of fact it is thanks to the Pashtun villagers that the ultimate member of Operation Red Wings manages to survive. The theme of hospitality as understood by the Pashtun culture is a central theme, since their ethics impose profound respect to all visitors, regardless of race, religion, national affiliation or economic status and doing so without any hope of remuneration or favour. And with Marcus Luttrell, Pashtuns went to great lengths to show their hospitality.
Cinematographer Tobias Schliessler portrays vividly, with a documentarist texture the punishing, Passion play of blood, saliva and bodies battered and bullet-riddled. Whereas the entire Red-Wing-Team-actors – Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Eric Bana, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Alexander Ludwig – seem to enjoy their macho ostentation of being haggard and woe-begone.
‘Lone Survivor’ might not be exactly the ideal Christmas film to enjoy with children or sensitive ladies. But by tributing America’s fighting spirit, it echoes the message not to give up no matter how hard the times may be, and this tiding couldn’t arrive in a more appropriate moment.
Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi