Flags of Our Fathers
February 1945. Even as victory in Europe was finally within reach, the war in the Pacific raged on. One of the most crucial and bloodiest battles of the war was the struggle for the island of Iwo Jima, which culminated with what would become one of the most iconic images in history: five Marines and a Navy corpsman raising the American flag on Mount Suribachi.
The inspiring photo capturing that moment became a symbol of victory to a nation that had grown weary of war and made instant heroes of the six American soldiers at the base of the flag, some of whom would die soon after, never knowing that they had been immortalized. But the surviving flag raisers had no interest in being held up as symbols and did not consider themselves heroes; they wanted only to stay on the front with their brothers in arms who were fighting and dying without fanfare or glory.
As in most war epics filmed in our day, this is a bloody and graphic portrayal of the story behind the men who were in the famous photo taken on Mount Suribachi atop the island of Iwo Jima. It is unfortunate that director Eastwood chose to show with such graphic detail the maiming and wounding of our soldiers as if no one would understand that war is hell without being visually accosted by these grotesque images.
The story of the photo and the men who were in it is quite compelling but the gratuitous language (almost all of if spoken not during the battle scenes but rather stateside) and the excessive violence make this film virtually unwatchable by families who otherwise may have been interested in seeing the film.