Black Hawk Down
In October 1993 a group of Army rangers and Delta force soldiers were sent into Somalia to capture a warlord that had already caused the deaths of over 200,000 thousands civilians. They were also to help the U.N. to deliver food to the people that were starving in the city. The whole mission was called a humanitarian mission but that was not the case for the one hundred and thirteen soldiers on that day October 1993. This movie is based on actual events that happened on one day when they were sent into Mogadishu to capture two top lieutenants. Everything that could have gone wrong did. Two Black Hawk helicopters were shot down and the soldiers had to fight for over eighteen hours against a whole city. This battle was the longest continuous fighting that any U.S. soldiers had fought in since the Vietnam War. Eighteen U.S. soldiers were killed and another seventy were wounded. The battle was made very public due to the fact that two delta force soldiers Gordon and Shugart bodies were drug thru the streets and it was videotaped. However Gordon and Shugart were given the Medal of Honor for their actions in protecting and saving pilot Mike Durant. Days after the battle President Clinton pulled all troops out of Somalia.
For me having been in combat and see it first hand, I believe that this movie properly showed how combat really is in are day. I have had many people ask what is combat like for you or how what is it like in Iraq. I always tell them if you just want a little taste of what it is like and what soldiers go through than go watch Black Hawk Down. Obviously it has had the Hollywood touch to it but for the most part there wasnt much of the director Ridley Scott changing the story or adding in his political ideals. When the actors were being trained by a ranger unit before the filming of the movie, all the actors had a letter put under their doors that said Tell our true story. The letter was signed by all the soldiers that had died that day. The Army was very supportive of this movie which makes this movie very accurate in the equipment and uniforms that was used. This movie for me has always been my favorite movie mostly due to the fact it lets me not forget what I have been through and it lets me relive my moments that I went through in Iraq. This mission was considered a success do to the fact the soldiers were able to get the prisoners that they captured back to base. However to the people in Washington it was a disaster.
Roger Ebert from Roger Ebert.com gave these movie four stars. He brings up a very good point when he says The movie is single-minded in its purpose. It wants to record as accurately as possible what it was like to be one of the soldiers under fire on that mission. (Ebert 2002). Also one thing that I believe should have been brought up is how we as Americans have a hard time understanding why soldiers do what they do. However as one veteran in the movie says It's about the men next to you. That's all it is." This is brought out into the movie but I feel it could be made clearer for the audience that has never been and the military and wouldnt understand what that means. I have always told people I didnt fight in Iraq for the America public I didnt do it for my family or son. When I was in Iraq I could have cared less about anybody in America all I cared about was getting out alive and for the guy next to me to get out alive. Being this is how most people in the military feel I believe this movie is for people that havent served in the military and they think it is just a game. It is also for the person that thinks those of us that do serve that we do it because we are action junkies. This movie is not meant for people that cannot stand the sight of blood and violence nor is it for young or small children.
I have always believed in what I have done as a soldier and for my country. However this movie does show how hard it can be and the challenges all soldiers face in this world today with insurgents and other countrys that will never believe or agree in what we do as a country. However, there will always be soldiers that go above their call of duty and do what they have to do to get the job done. The movie Black Hawk Down brings this to the public face and hopefully they get it.
Ebert, Roger (2002 Jan 12). Black Hawk down. Retrieved January 11, 2009,
Scoot, R(Director). (2002 January 18). Black Hawk down [Feture Film]. Revolution