RR Movies: Victory

The soldiers fighting on the outskirts of Mosul must have a whiff of victory in their nostrils, a hope that the shame and horror of Daesh’s capture of that city will soon be reversed. It won’t be a complete victory, of course, as more innocent lives will be lost and the deluded psychopaths won’t stop until they are dead, but it will be an important step.

Similarly, Martin Luther King’s actions in Selma didn’t end the racial conflict in the USA (wtf will??!!), but they did push LBJ into signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, laying a legal foundation for change to happen.

What films about (a) victory, small or large, personal or political, would you recommend?

14 thoughts on “RR Movies: Victory

  1. Victory is an interesting concept. Films always like a triumphant closing moment but we never see what happens after the final credits roll. We also need to think a bit about what victory means, both on a personal level but also in the wider context.

    Then, when dealing with dramatisations of real events, we have to remember that screenwriters and directors play fast and loose with the truth. One could nominate Chariots of Fire as an epitome of victory, but the reality was very different with what was portrayed on screen.

    Anyway, I am sticking with fiction and I am going to nom the three films of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, even though we (well, if we have read the books) know that the victory over Sauron presages the end of the Third Age, the departure of the Elves from Middle Earth and the end of magic in the world, and there is no guarantee that the evil personified by Sauron will not return in some other form in the future.

  2. Donds for “Lord of the Rings”. I’ll go with “Billy Elliot” – young boy overcomes prejudice and relative poverty (set in the time of the Miners Strike) to become a professional ballet dancer, re-gaining the love and support of his family along the way.

  3. At this point i can’t really seem to come up with anything better than Apocalypse Now. And i have to say that i’ve forgotten a lot of it too. But Martin Sheen does kill Brando in the end.

  4. My first thought is ‘The Battle of Algiers’ which although, during the time period of the film itself, shows the conflict ending in defeat for the independence movement actually acts as a catalyst for the inevitable change that grants the Algerians their independence in 1962. It is also a brilliant film.
    Another war film that would be a good fit is Five Graves to Cairo, the Billy Wilder classic that concerns a British soldier who, quite by accident, swaps his identity with an undercover German spy in an Egyptian hotel and eventually informs the Allies of the location of the German arms dumps in the north African desert thereby helping them defeat Rommel in 1942.

  5. I’m trying to catch up on my film watching at the moment.

    Any of you more cine-literate ‘Spillers have any recommendations for any must-sees from this year that I might have missed?

    • panthersan,

      Tale Of Tales (Matteo Garrone)
      Nocturnal Animals (Tom Ford)
      Aquarius (Kleber Mendonça Filho)
      Elle (Paul Verhoeven)

      After Love (Joachim Lafosse)
      Captain Fantastic (Matt Ross)
      Les Innocents (Anne Fontaine)

      Btw, thanks for recommending Tangerine, I really enjoyed it. x

      • Ohh, thank you thank you!

        The only one I’ve heard of there is Captain Fantastic, which I haven’t seen yet, but is on my list. That looks like a great list to get stuck into – thanks!

      • I doubt you’ve missed all of these but:
        Room
        Embrace of the Serpent
        When Marnie Was There
        Under the Shadow
        Mustang
        Love and Friendship
        Rams
        Our Little Sister
        Anomalisa
        Kubo and the Two Strings
        High Rise
        Victoria

        Donds for Neon Demon and Tale of Tales too.

    • After the initial Oscar-flurry (you have seen Room, I hope, panther), I’ve not been over-impressed with the films I’ve seen this year. But I haven’t seen many of those on sev and anon’s lists, so that may be my fault. I did enjoy Captain Fantastic though. And also Miles Ahead, American Honey and I, Daniel Blake.
      The latter really is Cathy, Come Home for today, even down to the clunky realism, which sort of underlines how crude the ‘welfare’ system still is. The use of jargon – particularly ‘decision maker’ – is a modern-day cruel twist.

      • Thanks all – quite a few there I’ve missed too.

        I did see Room and thought it was great. I fancied Miles Ahead at first, but the reviews weren’t too great so I gave it a miss. Now that it has the Chris seal of approval, I’ll definitely give it a go!

        Watched Embrace of the Serpent a few days ago and loved it. I hadn’t heard of Victoria, but I just looked it up and it looks interesting (one take? really? Wow!) so that and Neon Demon have gone to the top of my list along with Tale of Tales. Cheers all. Am going to see if I can get to see ALL of those before the end of year polls starting going up

        I do like these long winter nights…!

      • I wouldn’t take my approval as much of an indicator! I enjoyed Don Cheadle’s performance particularly, but it may be total pants in terms of the truth.

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