War Requiem (1989) by Derrek Jarman accounts on the horrors of the World War I. The story represents speechless scenes of war and struggles accompanied with Benjamin Britten’s poems and music pieces. The story concentrates on horrifying events taken from the recollection of the old soldier who is morally and physically injured with the cruelty of war. The movie depicts murder, abhorrent scenes of dead soldiers, as well as changing attitude of people to human lives.
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Humiliating the overall concept of humanness is the main idea of the movie striving to emphasize the negative consequences of war actions for shaping morality and ethics. In this respect, War Requiem is a commentary on horrible experience revealing the message of infinite futility, waste, and sacrifice. The author has managed to prove that war is senseless because it deprives people of their life being the most precious thing.
The movie reflects uselessness and infinite futility of war and violence against humanity. At the beginning of the movie, the old soldier recollects the episode when German soldier kills his best friend. The scene depicts this killing as the most senseless action due to the situation and context in which it is presented.
Jarman intentionally introduces musical instruments into the piece to remind people of the merits of peaceful existence. However, the soldiers neglect this utmost value and continue fighting. Such a contrasted representation emphasizes horrors and senselessness of struggles. It also emphasizes negligence of such positive emotions as joy and excitement that are diminished by hatred, anger, and fear.
By representing flashbacks from the World War I, Jarham also represents people who are ready to sacrifice their lives for the sakes of others. In this respect, the movie presents such human qualities as mercy, kindness, and readiness to struggle for better future.
Most importantly, the story accounts on desperate attempts to remain human in front of severe reality. Despite the hardships and sufferings that people had to endure, they still search for any possible reasons to remain positive and hopeful. The author represents sacrifice as essential part of human nature.
The movie represents war as a mere waste of human life. War cannot be justified because its main purpose is destruction. The movie scenes are intertwined with displays of mass murders, fighting, and violence. The story, therefore, also renders the concept of war as mere waste of time, as well as grief of loss and despair that people endure.
A combination of many episodes from other contemporary wars enhances the impression on the audience and strengthens the overall idea of the movie. Hence, the main heroes encounter indifference of some people who neglect other lives and long to dominating by means of war. Therefore, the war is nothing more than a spectacle controlled by governors.
In conclusion, the movie seeks to criticize the horrors of the war because it distorts the accepted morality and the concept of humanness. By accounting the story of a soldier and his bride nurse, the author recollects the events through the themes of infinite futility, waste, and sacrifice.
Despite the hostility, anger, fear, and rivalry, people strive to overcome the boundaries of war and remain human. The main heroes of the movie suffer from violence and cruelty generated by war. In addition, author demoralizes war and reflects his complex and provoking outlook on the horrible events.