Saturday 30 May 2009

Days Of Glory

The second movie in my marathon war movie session was the Days of Glory (the 2006 French film not the 1944 Gregory Peck one). Days of Glory tells the story of the native African troops who served in the French army during the second half of WW2 and the pretty shoddy way they were treated at the time and subsequently by French governments who refused to pay the veterans their pensions when their homelands became independent.

As war films go it is not the most action packed, with the battle sequences limited to a mountain assault in Tunisia (very reminiscent of a WW1 battle) and a defensive action against the Germans in an Alsace town, that said both are well done. The worth of the film is its addressing of a topic often overlooked, the contribution of native colonial forces in the liberation of France and the discrimination these troops faced from the homeland they were dying for. As with most films it sticks to its own agenda and as such ignores the war crimes committed by the French colonial forces in Italy (notably after Monte Cassino) so not to dilute your sympathy for injustices suffered by the main characters. Following the release of the film in France, the French government reinstated the military pensions of those colonial troops who had fought for France during the war.

Overall a good film on an obscure subject and worth checking out (again this one is also available for less than a fiver), a Goumier unit would certainly make for an interesting addition to a WW2 tabletop. 

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