SXSW Film

Daily reviews and interviews

SXSW Film

Armadillo

SXGlobal
D: Janus Metz

It's no wonder this stunning film won the Cannes Critics' Week Grand Prize this year. It's a perfect – and we mean perfect – example of that increasingly rare filmic portrait, a war documentary that appears to be anything but. Comparisons to Apocalypse Now are, for once, not just hyperbole as documentarian Metz and his lone cameraman embed themselves with a raw, young platoon of Danish soldiers operating out of the titular Forward Operating Base, or FOB, in Afghanistan's hellishly fraught Helmand Province. Engaging in visceral, close-quarter skirmishes with the Taliban – who engage the platoon daily, sometimes from mere yards away – Metz's crystal-clear HD camera is like the unblinking eye of some exhausted god of war. Projectiles whoosh past, inches from Metz's helmet-cam, and the exhilarating rush of you-are-there battle is contrasted with the soldiers' porn-filled downtime and the inevitable, uncensored carnage. Every bit as intimate as sex and nearly as thrilling/horrifying, Armadillo is simply the best modern war documentary yet filmed.


Thursday, March 17, 11:30am, Alamo Lamar C

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