"They won’t understand why we do it. They won’t understand it’s about the men next to you. That’s all it is."
There is a political side to military operations, and there is a military side. Regardless of the politics of the 1993 situation in Somalia, the battle of Mogadishu was a terrible one, leaving 19 US soldiers, a Pakistani soldier and a Malaysian soldier dead, not to mention the countless Somalis. Ridley Scott’s 2001 film Black Hawk Down, based on Mark Bowden’s book, tells the story of this battle and it’s a powerful one. Certainly, it’s a film everyone should see at least once to fully grasp this situation. Join us as we continue our “This Is Real Life, Jack” series with Scott’s powerful film.
We talk about the real situation and how the filmmakers condensed it to tell this story in just over two hours, looking at some of what was changed and how the real soldiers who had been there reacted to the film. We look at Scott and producer Jerry Bruckheimer and what they each bring to a film like this, finding ourselves immensely impressed that this didn’t take the path of Pearl Harbor, fictionalizing the story for the wrong reasons. We give kudos to the immense cast and the casting director who brought them all together. We touch on the effects work, both on set and in the digital world, marvelling at the powerful war zone they’ve created here. And we chat with Bowden a bit to get his take on how well they adapted his book.
It’s a difficult film to watch but a strong one too. It’s a film that puts us in the soldiers’ shoes in a very messy incursion, helping us understand the mentality of what it takes to go into a situation like this. Read the book, check out the movie and tune in to this week’s show!
- Watch this film: iTunes • Amazon • Netflix • Hulu
- Script Transcript
- Original theatrical trailer
- Original poster artwork
- Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War by Mark Bowden