What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this anti-war epic from the 1930s digs into the physical, psychological, and emotional damage that war wreaks on soldiers in great detail. Soldiers are wounded and die, sometimes in agony, sometimes in a bloody mess, and sometimes slow and painfully. The war scenes are graphic, but don't compare in gruesomeness to more modern fare, and there's something about watching the black-and-white movie with old-fashioned characters that lessens the impact of the violence. That said, it's still intense and not for kids, though older teens can probably handle it. The soldiers occasionally talk about women and allude to sex. In one scene, several soldiers bring food to French women in exchange for (offscreen) intimacy.
- Families can talk about war. What beliefs do family members hold about military service, war, and the defense of one's country? Have family members been involved in wars -- either in the military or protesting against war? What stories have you heard from family or others about war?
- Talk about propaganda films, or movies that have a strong viewpoint, like this one. What cinematic elements in this movie help convince the audience of its viewpoint?
- Does the lack of gory, bloody, in-your-face violence lessen the impact? Why or why not?