Film Review: The Fog of Battle is a Heavy Burden in ‘A War’

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – Humanity and war simply do no mix. You could have the biggest guns, the most powerful bombs and the greatest army, but you’re also going to eliminate innocent lives, and affect those soldiers who do the killing. This topic is pungently realized in the Danish film “A War.”

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

In the traditional of military films like Stanley Kubrick’s “Paths of Glory,” this film is about a military incident and subsequent trial. The difference is it also shows the trials of the home front, as a soldier’s wife keeps the household while the hubby is tending the troops. In modern warfare – the Danish platoon is in Afghanistan – calls to loved ones may be available, but the connection still is difficult to make. This is vital to the path of the main soldier and his story, and the fog of war, with the karma ambiguity that still occurs whenever anyone is the harm’s way of the battlefield. ”A War” is nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar at the upcoming 2016 Academy Awards.

A troop commander for a Danish platoon in Afghanistan, Claus Pedersen (Pilou Asbaek) is heartbroken when a soldier dies under his leadership. For his own punishment, he decides to go out with the men on patrol. While under fire from the Taliban, he makes a decision for an airstrike. As a result, 11 civilians are killed, and Claus is brought to trial back home.

Meanwhile, the commander’s wife Maria (Tuva Novotny) is holding down the household, with three children to take care of – their only connection is an occasional satellite phone call. Claus then abruptly comes home after the airstrike incident, only to tell her of the military trial. The fate of both home and battlefield is played out in a courtroom, and affects a family. 


“A War” continues its limited release in Chicago on February 26th, see local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring Pilou Asbaek, Tuva Novony and Alex Hogh Andersen. Written and directed by Tobias Lindholm. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “A War”

Pilou Asbaek
Claus (Pilou Asbaek) in Battle in ‘A War’
Photo credit: Magnolia Films

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “A War”

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