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A Reel Life film section

Summer 2008-9

Valkyrie (2008) movie review

A Soldier's Cause

I am a soldier, I serve my country, but this is not my country.

Hitler's Germany did not speak with one voice, although his was the loudest. There were those who disagreed with his vision and his actions. Valkyrie was a plan created by Hitler's elite to save themselves in case of imminent defeat. By altering this plan, a group of high-ranking dissidents hoped to destroy the Third Reich and make their own Germany out of the ashes.

Valkyrie has its action sequences, particularly in the opening minutes, however it is a conspiracy film. This is a war film, the behind-the-scenes actions lift it above the mad-dashing-shooting flicks, although it does stops from time to time to give the audience a moody Tom Cruise close-up.

Movie poster, Valkyrie; Festivale film review

Movie poster, Valkyrie; Festivale film review

Films like Saving Private Ryan are more about personal deaths and injuries in war, Schindler's List tells the story of the atrocities and the people of conscience who did their part. Valkyrie is about the actions of the military men whose rank gives their decisions considerable impact.

If these men had succeeded untold thousands of lives would have been saved; that they failed is unfortunate, that they tried is inspiring. We live in a time where genetic 'purity' requirements have been replaced by religious acquiescence, where to be placed in a concentration camp requires not a blood line, but a simple word -- terrorist. Are there people of conscience in the war rooms today? We must hope so.

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by Ali Kayn
Due for Australian release 22 January 2009
For credits and official site details, see below
Search Festivale for more work by the film-makers below.

See also: Saving Private Ryan

Just the facts:

Title: Valkyrie (2008)
Written by: Christopher McQuarrie & Nathan Alexander
Directed by: Bryan Singer
running time: 121 mins
rating: M

The Players: Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Terence Stamp,

Official website:
IMDb entry

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