As a history buff and military wife, military history can be especially fascinating to me. Admittedly I prefer reading history to watching it. Hollywood has a way of really gumming up some wonderful military story lines. Overly long fight scenes, unrealistic and overly emphasized romances, and foul (albeit probably realistic) language means that I general tend to shy away from war and military films.
Saints and Soldiers: Airborne Creed has none of what I hate and all of what I love. Saints and Soldiers: Airborne Creed tells the true story of three paratroopers who find themselves stranded across enemy lines during WWII. These strangers join together to travel across the south of France so they can return to their units and disrupt the enemy in any way they can in the process. On their journey they have to deal with spies, Nazis, and a small band of French rebels. Together they find comfort in their memories of home, their God, and the commitment they made to their Country:
I am an Airborne trooper! A Paratrooper!
I jump by parachute from any plane in flight. I volunteered to do it, knowing well the hazards of my choice.
I serve in a mighty Airborne Force–famed for deeds in war–renowned for readiness in peace. It is my pledge to uphold its honor and prestige in all I am–in all I do.
This was a truly moving movie. More than anything else you get a sense of the brotherhood that is felt in an institution like the military. This is the biggest reason why we joined! Initially mere strangers or acquaintances, these men quickly fall right in to step with each other and work together to get to where they need to be. There is no contention or second guessing and the rank system gives an automatic sense of leadership and organization. While there are certainly abuses in this structure in the real world (as we personally have some unfortunate experience with), Airborne Creed gives you a look in to the way the military works most of the time.
In Airborne Creed there are no formal battles, no backdoor deals, no politicians getting in the way. It’s the men on the ground, doing what they were trained to do, all the while trying to protect the innocent. It is very much like what I would imagine the wars we are involved in now must be like. The topography is different but the men are the same. They make mistakes and they are sometimes insensitive and arrogant: but they are mostly good, kind and just trying to do the right thing.
I wish there was some way for me to tell you about some of the touching exchanges between enemies; when it came down to it the people they were fighting against, while they certainly had different ideologies, were also just people with families who were also just following orders and trying to do what they thought was right; and that the men on the ground are not the men calling the shots on either side of the isle… but I couldn’t find a way to fit that in easily so I won’t mention it ;)
Saints and Soldiers: Airborne Creed is a stand alone movie and can be watched independently of the first Saints and Soldiers. While it is a composed of primarily Latter-Day Saint actors that we will remember from movies like 17 Miracles, Single’s Ward, and Best Two Years; it is not a “Mormon” movie. The characters, while Christian, are not LDS. This movie is wonderful for those of any denomination and I highly recommend it.