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Courage Under Fire In 1991 millions of people tuned in to CNN to observe a real life and death drama played out in the cities and deserts of Iraq For the United States the war was more or less a display of power and a preservation of economic interest Nobody was to ever hear of the mishaps and foul-ups of the war In many eyes the war was seen as a chance to boost American spirit and make the government look empowered Director Edward Zwick and writer Patrick Shane Duncan snatched onto this notion and expounded on it in their movie Courage Under Fire Through its superb acting successful plot structure and filming perfection the movie becomes a powerful and brilliant examination of the consequences of guilt and responsibility and the meaning of absolute truth Courage Under Fire was the first Gulf War movie to hit American theaters It is a movie that steers clear of the typical type set of the war film genre Movies like Platoon and Apocalypse Now took us into the heart of the savagery of war and its torment upon the individual Courage Under Fire contrasts greatly with these movies by showing that acts of valor do not necessarily result from the savageness of the battlefield The real subject of the film is not a specific war but the military ethos and its effect on many individuals The movie begins as many war films have on the battlefield Lieutenant Colonel Nat Serling Denzel Washington finds himself in an impossible situation under heavy attack at night in the middle of the Iraqi desert He is being assaulted by the Iraqis and in an instant loses his long time friend to the horror of friendly fire He has ordered his crew to fire on another American tank under his command Back home the government is eagerly searching for Gulf War heroes and as a result Serling is decorated for his
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