by Dustin Olson
For most students enrolling as freshman in the fall of 2012, war has been a constant part of their lives. Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Mogadishu, Bosnia, Haiti, and the war on terror are just a few of the military deployments which have occurred within their lives. Yet all too many students lack knowledge and understanding of these events.
Throughout the fall semester, students, faculty and staff of MCC are invited to take part in a film series intended to give some understanding of what war is and how it affects the soldiers involved. English instructor David Collins is hosting the event.
The films in the series includes the films: “Troy,” “300,” “Master and Commander,” “The Patriot,” “Gods and Generals,” “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “MASH,” “We Were Soldiers,” “Hamburger Hill,” “Jarhead,” “Black Hawk Down,” and “Act of Valor.”
The films offer visceral portrayals of war and also display its sheer brutality. Collins said he wants students to have “a well rounded sensory perception of what war is,” and to understand the “boredom of war and frightening speed it ignites.”
Scott Van Biber says Collins’ commentary after the film is “helpful…it’s cool to know more of the back story of actual events.”
With more than 400,000 vets returning home soon and more than 300,000 vets incarcerated throughout the United States, Collins wants civilians take a moment and try to understand the hardships involved, “…not asking us to fix it, just listen,” said Collins.
Hoping to give insight and context to the films, after each screening, Collins explains the true story. For the film “300,” for example, he told the story of Thermopylae and how the Spartan phalanx worked on a field of battle. Also, Collins explained the history of the film itself, budgets, grosses, and film techniques.
Blue River student Brandi Kennedy said she finds the film series “educational and educating.”
The films are being shown at Blue River in the Campus Center, room 101, Fridays at noon.