5 Days of War (2011) Poster

5 Days of War (2011)

  • Rate: 5.6/10 total 6,253 votes 
  • Genre: Action | Drama | War
  • Release Date: 6 June 2011 (Georgia)
  • Runtime: 113 min
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5 Days of War (2011)


5 Days of War 2011tt1486193.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: 5 Days of War (2011)
  • Rate: 5.6/10 total 6,253 votes 
  • Genre: Action | Drama | War
  • Release Date: 6 June 2011 (Georgia)
  • Runtime: 113 min
  • Filming Location: Tbilisi, Georgia
  • Budget: $20,000,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $17,149(USA)(11 September 2011)
  • Director: Renny Harlin
  • Stars: Rupert Friend, Emmanuelle Chriqui and Richard Coyle
  • Original Music By: Trevor Rabin   
  • Soundtrack: No Fear of Heights
  • Sound Mix: DTS | Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Journalist | Georgia | Invasion | War Reporter | War Correspondent

Writing Credits By:

  • Mikko Alanne (screenplay)
  • David Battle (based on a screenplay by)

Known Trivia

  • Near the beginning, president Saakashvili can be seen munching on his necktie. This was based on an actual incident, in which the president was caught on camera while chewing on his tie, unaware that the camera was rolling. The footage has been widely translated, and can be easily found on YouTube.
  • Because the nation of Georgia had very little infrastructure with regards to film production, much of the below-the-line crew was filled by technicians and craftspeople from Bulgaria.
  • Andy Garcia was sought for the role of Georgina president Mikhail Saakashvili for two reasons: he resembled Saakashvil;, and he is Saakashvili’s favorite American actor.
  • The Georgian military supplied ground force, armored vehicles, weapons and helicopters for use in the film. This allowed many battle scenes and crowd formations to be staged without the need to expand or supplement them digitally.
  • In the scene of mayhem Avnevi village on one of the tanks was written inscription “Chinval, Moskva za toboi!” (Tskhinvali, Moscow behind you!).

Goofs: Factual errors: News announcer quotes Vladimir Putin that "the loss Georgia was a major geopolitical tragedy of the twentieth century" (apparently meaning the South Ossetian War 1991-92). Putin has never said that. In fact, in 2005 he referred to collapse of the Soviet Union the main geopolitical tragedy of the twentieth-century.

Plot: A drama set centered around the war between Russia and Georgia, and focused on an American journalist, his cameraman, and a Georgian native who become caught in the crossfire.  »

Story: A drama set centered around the war between Russia and Georgia, and focused on an American journalist, his cameraman, and a Georgian native who become caught in the crossfire.


Synopsis: In this intensely human portrayal of courage under fire, acclaimed director Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger) combines heart pounding action with real human drama, as he tells the riveting story of a war reporter caught behind enemy lines during the 2008 Russian invasion of Georgia. As a nation fights for its very survival, a brave and passionate coalition of international reporters and local Georgians risk their lives to tell the true human cost of military conflict. Filmed for six weeks on location, 5 DAYS OF AUGUST is a riveting, suspenseful portrait of the courage under fire. His spirit broken after an Iraqi ambush in Bagdad takes the life of close friend Miriam Eisner (Heather Graham), American war correspondent, Thomas Anders (Rupert Friend), seeks escape from the ghosts of his past. Rumors of war draw him to a military hot zone in the republic of Georgia, on the eve of a Russian invasion. Reunited with a small, intrepid band of war reporters in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, Anders takes his cameraman and fellow road-warrior, Sebastian (Richard Coyle), on the road north, toward the breakaway republic of South Ossetia, just in time to witness a Russian airstrike on the peaceful village of Vaziani. While Russian bombs rain down, Anders and Sebastian boldly document the devastation, then shuttle survivors to a military hospital in Gori, with the help of a brave and beautiful, Georgian school teacher, named Tatia (Emmanuelle Chriqui). Unable to break his story through the noise of Russian propaganda and a world distracted by the Olympics in China, Anders and Sebastian race back to the battle zone to help a desperate Tatia find her missing family. Caught in the crossfire of full-scale combat and witness to the murder of civilians in another Russian assault, Anders records the evidence that will shock the world. But before he can act, Anders is captured, along with Sebastian and Tatia, by the architects of these atrocities, the ruthless Colonel Demidov (Rade Serbedjiza) and his mercenary killer, Daniil (Mikko Nousiainen). Just when all seems lost they are rescued in a daring raid by a Georgian soldier, Captain Rezo (Johnathon Schaech). Anders and his friends, including the world-weary Dutchman (Val Kilmer), must stand and fight for their freedom and their cause in a final battle in the city of Gori. Ultimately, while President Saakashvilli (Andy Garcia) seeks help from his allies, Anders faces one last test of courage as he strives to save Tatias life by sacrificing everything but the truth.


FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Mirza Davitaia known as producer
  • Michael P. Flannigan known as executive producer
  • Giorgi Gelovani known as executive producer
  • Renny Harlin known as producer
  • David Imedo known as executive producer (as David Imedashvili)
  • Lis Kern known as associate producer
  • Cyndy Kuipers known as executive producer
  • Christopher Landry known as co-producer
  • George Lascu known as producer
  • Avi Liani known as co-producer
  • Dan Masciarelli known as producer: main title, Rok!t
  • Koba Nakopia known as producer
  • Nikki Stanghetti known as co-producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Rupert Friend known as Thomas Anders
  • Emmanuelle Chriqui known as Tatia Meddevi
  • Richard Coyle known as Sebastian Ganz
  • Heather Graham known as Miriam Eisner
  • Johnathon Schaech known as Cpt. Rezo Avaliani
  • Rade Serbedzija known as Col. Alexandr Demidov (as Rade Sherbedgia)
  • Andy Garcia known as President Mikheil Saakashvili
  • Val Kilmer known as Dutchman
  • Mikko Nousiainen known as Daniil
  • Mikheil Gomiashvili known as Anton Meddevi
  • Ana Imnadze known as Sofi Meddevi (as Ani Imnadze)
  • Antje Traue known as Zoe
  • Kenneth Cranham known as Michael Stilton (as Ken Cranham)
  • Dean Cain known as Chris Bailot
  • Sergo Shvedkov known as Minister Temur Iakobashvili
  • Steven Robertson known as Minister Davit Kezerashvili
  • Alan McKenna known as Minister Alexander Lomaia
  • Giorgi Tsaava known as Maj. Lavrin
  • Lasha Kankava known as Daniil's Man #1
  • Beka Tabukashvili known as Daniil's Man #2
  • Lasha Okreshidze known as Georgian Lieutenant
  • Kakha Mikiashvili known as Inn Keeper
  • Natia Metreveli known as Inn Keeper's Wife
  • Lile Oniani known as Inn keeper's infant
  • Natalia Gularashvili known as Inn keeper's baby
  • Gia Kusikashvili known as Village Man
  • Lia Suluashvili known as Woman Shot in Knees
  • Koka Shanava known as Militia Boy
  • Anna Walton known as Karin
  • Liako Gogidze known as Waitress
  • Tornike Bziava known as Giorgi the guide
  • Kakha Gogidze known as Priest
  • Giorgi Kipshidze known as Iraqi Taxi Driver
  • Zura Javaxia known as Lasha Tsagareli
  • Levan Pirtskhalava known as Georgian Lieutenant
  • Zurab Ingorokva known as Georgian Captain (as Zura Ingorokva)
  • Rostom Lortkipanidze known as Priest
  • Luke Albright known as Satellite Van Tech Jameson
  • Jino Jiniuzashvili known as Oldest Militia Boy
  • Giorgi Ushikishvili known as Wedding singer
  • Manana Midelashvili known as Disabled Woman
  • Ruslan Bakradze known as Disabled Man
  • Aleko Gabedava known as Rezo's Soldier
  • Nika Tserediani known as Chief of Police
  • Malkhaz Abuladze known as Mayor
  • Natalia Kipshidze known as Girl in Church
  • Dali Doijashvili known as Older Village Woman
  • Nino Jokhadze known as Young Village Girl
  • Alek Friedman known as Russian soldier (voice) (uncredited)
  • Konstantin Lavysh known as Russian Soldier / Spetsnaz (voice) (uncredited)
  • Avi Liani known as Georgian Soldier (uncredited)
  • Beka Sikharulidze known as Groom / Russian Soldier (voice) (uncredited)
  • Givi Sikharulidze known as Valdas Adamkus – President of Lithuania (uncredited)
  • Zura Tsintsqiladze known as Valdis Zatlers – President of Latvia (uncredited)
  • Rick Yudt known as Mark Rudolph (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Veriko Bedeladze known as assistant makeup artist
  • Irma Datuashvili known as makeup artist
  • Sophie Machavariani known as third makeup artist
  • Snejina Merdganova known as key makeup artist
  • Nana Nanuli known as assistant makeup artist
  • Lavrenti Sarishvili known as hair stylist
  • Dimitrina Stoyanova known as key hair stylist
  • Yana Stoyanova known as makeup department head
  • Yana Stoyanova known as makeup designer
  • Rick Stratton known as tattoo artist
  • Tamta Turkadze known as assistant makeup artist
  • Pasha Usubyan known as assistant hair stylist
  • Salome Zakaraia known as crowd makeup artist

Art Department:

  • Tarik Amchemar known as props
  • Bilyana Buchmann known as assistant property master
  • Dirk Buchmann known as property master
  • Jonathan Gesinski known as storyboard artist
  • Giorgi Gogorikidze known as art department buyer
  • Zura Gogorikidze known as props
  • Maximino Gonzalez known as construction manager
  • Eka Ioseliani known as art department coordinator
  • Alexandre Kapanadze known as graphic designer
  • Grigori Laperadze known as construction coordinator
  • Irakli Mchedlidze known as on-set dresser




Production Companies:

  • Rex Media (as RexMedia) (presents)
  • Georgia International Films (as GIF)
  • Midnight Sun Pictures
  • Dispictures

Other Companies:

  • Art4noise  ADR Recording Facility
  • Audiolink Radio Communications  walkie talkies
  • De Lane Lea  ADR recording
  • HD Camera Rentals.com  camera equipment provided by
  • Post Haste Sound  commentary recording engineering
  • StuntArt.ru  rigging stunts
  • Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging  digital intermediate services


  • Albatros Film (2011) (Japan) (theatrical)
  • Anchor Bay Films (2011) (USA) (theatrical)
  • Cathay-Keris Films (2012) (Singapore) (theatrical)
  • Interfilm (2011) (Japan) (theatrical)
  • Kinosmith (2011) (Canada) (theatrical)
  • Anchor Bay Entertainment (2011) (Australia) (DVD)
  • Anchor Bay Entertainment (2011) (USA) (DVD)
  • Anchor Bay Entertainment (2011) (USA) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Atlantic Film (2012) (Sweden) (DVD)
  • Atlantic Film (2012) (Sweden) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Aventi (2011) (France) (DVD)
  • Film Medya (2011) (Turkey) (all media)
  • Mongkol Major (2011) (Thailand) (all media)
  • Video Film Express (2011) (Netherlands) (DVD)
  • Video Film Express (2011) (Netherlands) (DVD) (Blu-ray)



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Dr. PICTURE Studios (visual effects)
  • ActionSFX
  • Celluloid VFX (visual effects)
  • Furious FX (visual effects and animation)

Visual Effects by:

  • Stephen Delisle known as digital compositor
  • Brian DeMetz known as visual effects technical director: Final Light VFX
  • Scott Dougherty known as visual effects executive producer: Furious FX
  • Ben Kilgore known as visual effects artist
  • Marcin Kummer known as digital compositor: Celluloid Visual Effects
  • Vladimir Leschinski known as senior visual effects supervisor
  • David Lingenfelser known as executive visual effects supervisor: Furious Fx
  • Elena Lotanova known as visual effects production assistant
  • James McQuaide known as visual effects supervisor
  • Landon Medeiros known as compositor: Furious FX
  • Gary Oldroyd known as visual effects producer: Sub/Par Pix
  • Bryan Shepperd known as cg artist: Furious FX
  • Mark Shoaf known as cg supervisor: Furious FX
  • Tommy Tran known as visual effects artist

Release Date:

  • USA 3 November 2010 (American Film Market)
  • Spain 14 April 2011 (Mostra de Valencia)
  • Georgia 5 June 2011 (World Premiere)
  • Georgia 6 June 2011
  • UK 9 June 2011 (London) (premiere)
  • UK 13 June 2011 (DVD premiere)
  • Australia 21 July 2011
  • Germany 19 August 2011 (DVD premiere)
  • USA 19 August 2011 (limited)
  • Canada 26 August 2011 (Toronto)
  • France 1 September 2011 (DVD premiere)
  • Japan 1 October 2011
  • Netherlands 6 December 2011 (DVD premiere)
  • Kuwait 8 December 2011
  • Estonia 30 December 2011
  • Finland 20 January 2012
  • Singapore 1 March 2012
  • Sweden 7 March 2012 (DVD premiere)

MPAA: Rated R for strong bloody war violence and atrocities, and for pervasive language.



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on March 29, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , .


  1. dkane180 from Connecticut, United States
    29 Mar 2012, 2:53 pm

    My hopes were high for this movie. The War between Georgia and SouthOssetia/Russia in August of 2008 would seem to be a great background toa well-plotted, carefully crafted film that captures all the intrigueof the Caucasus. Since the Caucasus have always been a nest of ethnicdivisions, political double-dealing and vicious banditry I would thinkany decent screenwriter and director could piece together a fairlyintense thriller, I was so wrong. 5 Days of War is a twisted trainwreck of special effects laden action and blatant propaganda with aparade of terrible acting. This film was disappointing on many levels.About 40 minutes into the film I realized I was watching a $20,000,000piece of pro-Georgian anti-Russian propaganda. If anyone does a littleresearch on this war they will clearly see that both sides committedillegal acts under international law. Georgia is actually blamed fortriggering the war by using heavy artillery on a city unprovoked whichkilled civilians, Russian Peacekeepers and damaged large tracts of thecity. Once the war began some Ossetia militias fighting with theRussians committed acts of ethnic cleansing and were not stopped by theRussian Military or Government. Shame on them and shame on Georgia forbombarding a city. I do not have a dog in this fight, I think that theproblems of that part of the world should be answered by the countriesand governments of that region. It is obvious that the filmmakers feelthat we should clearly be supporting Georgia with their charismaticleader Mikheil Saakashvili played by Andy Garcia who is portrayed as aGeorgian Thomas Jefferson or JFK. Why the hell did they use Andy Garciaanyway? This movie does nothing to help the outsider with thecomplexities of the actual situation. I want to know what the targetaudience was for the filmmakers. I was insulted by this film. Why wouldthey take such a complex and historical subject and simplify it down tothis? Westerners are natural allies of the peace-loving, compassionateGeorgians therefore the obvious "Bad Guys" are the Russians and SouthOssetians who bring murder, terror and misery upon the progressiveGeorgians. The world isn't so black and white and even us dimwittedmoviegoers can appreciate the intricacies of politics in the Caucasus.The protagonist of this wreck is an unlikeable American journalist(Rupert Friend in a career ending role) who jumps head first intodanger because of his troubled past. He is surrounded by a cadre ofAmerican/British journalists (Val Kilmer, Kenneth Cranham who are bothwasted as ridiculous caricatures) who drink hard, take big risks andare always crying about how nobody cares about what is going on in theworld. At all times they are protected and working directly on behalfof a group of saintly Georgian soldiers. They do not even pretend to beimpartial and objective. The contrived role of Tatia (EmmanuelleChriqui) is another low point in a film filled with an excruciatinglevel of inaccuracies, clichés and thoughtless dialogue. Specialeffects are strong, location looks beautiful but the storyline and factevery major character is played by an American or British actor and notnative Georgians/Russians is thoughtless and insulting (insultedagain). ONLY WASTE YOUR TIME ON THIS FILM IF YOU HAVE TIME TO WASTE ANDREALLY WANT TO HAVE YOUR INTELLIGENCE QUESTIONED. A TRAVESTY.

  2. spin666
    29 Mar 2012, 2:53 pm

    As a movie about a war that just happen,it of course very interesting.As you can see at many the review and forum comments,the movie's topica flaming one. The maker of the movie made it sound like a movie baseon mainly facts. That was the reason I choose to see this movie.

    As I'm nor Russian or Georgian(nor one of their allies), and I livequite far for all this mess,I consider my self quite neutral in thisissue.

    Sadly,this movie is far from facts,and it's so full of propaganda moviethat I couldn't even enjoy it's entertainment value.

    '5 Days of August' is suppose to tell us a story about theRussian-Georgian war in 2008,from TV-crews eyes. The conflict it's selfisn't that sudden,because the area had a long history full ofmadness,politics and fighting. Which this movie did try to explorer,butquite poorly. Mainly because it only tell the story on the side ofGeorgians(view of the war from Georgians side). Russians was made to bethe main and the only bad guys(which in some context,they of coursewere at fault,as they act just like US in Irak. Anyway the main problembeen Georgians was not as pure and guiltless as it showed). As storycame down to a purelly propaganda movie(Georgian been the true Freedomfighters,and not mass murders of their own peoples or South Ossetians.Which depend on your view on South Ossetians independents)that wouldhave made Goebbels proud of this one. As a history and Document fan,Ifind this movie as bad as it can be. American's propaganda aren'tusually this direct, only the Nazi and communist did this type over thetop propaganda junks.

    As a simple movie, this one has nothing special. Special effect arepoor. Garcia and Kilmer made me want to cry! This two's acting is notat the same level as they should be. As b-level Director goes, RennyHarlin did an OK job. He been a Finn must had something to do with whyhe was in this movie,because even he is overqualified for this movie.Anyhow Winter war and this one aren't the same. Finland wan't the onestarting the war,nor did they bomb their own people as part of theirplan to "free" them.

    Worst thing about this movie,is that some lazy people might actuallybelieve this movie is about facts.

    People with open mind and have the mind to study up on the issue ofSouth Ossetia war/history should see this movie(as a joke aboutHollywood style of facts), or Movie students. This is 2011 propagandamovie, that use the same style as Nazi's and communist did.

  3. inc-10 from Estonia
    29 Mar 2012, 2:53 pm

    Well, all kinds of things went wrong with this movie.

    For starters, the opening sequence is awesome. One thing this moviereally had was best camera crew ever. Everything feels very intense allthe times, very close to the real war footage. Also, all the props,vehicles, uniforms, even explosions look very real. This is the goodpart.

    The mediocre part is main story. It's a mix of Hotel Rwanda and Tearsof the Sun, but feels like a bootleg version, a cheap knockoff ofthose.

    And then there's the bad part. Just after awesome intro, you get"treated" with shots of Tbilisi, with landmarks, people smiling, andgod forbid, trancey music in the background. It looked like acommercial for some travel agency, with only "Visit Georgia" messagemissing from the scene and was most tasteless thing I've ever seen in afilm. I live in similar post-soviet country and I do understand thementality in desperate desire to explain your culture to the world toget less looked as some remote hellhole, but this is outright tastelessand maybe Georgia hasn't come to this yet.

    The script had generally no direction. Awesome war scene here, somecorpses there, cameramen and photography director knew what to do…But director didn't. First, that simple shot with church and bloodyriver from 'Tears of the Sun' gives 10 times stronger emotion thanwhole pile of bodies shown in '5 days of August'. Even though lattertries sooo hard to portray Russians as savages.

    Second, despite awesome camera and props, fighting had no point in thismovie. You see soldiers shooting stuff and each other, but it's unclearwhy or what's their plan. I don't think any people who had any ideaabout how soldiers and military works were on the set. Mi-24 choppersshooting random buildings with rockets? And here I thought that everypilot is given orders and targets to waste expensive munitions on…Also, MI-24 sports a deadly cannon, but it's used only once, missingeverything, and soldiers act as chopper had blind men for pilot andgunner, not taking cover. Tanks constantly missing targets and notusing machine guns? Taking down a chopper with a single LAW rocket?SU-bombers taking down a restaurant residing in basically nowhere? Thisall felt very bizarre and pointless.

    I could go on, but there's no need. Let's just say that this movie isvery average, has some good moments, lots of unmemorable moments, andsome outright stupid ones. So pick it up from bargain bin, but don'texpect too much.

    6 stars I give are for 2 reasons: Awesome camera work (it felt likelive action at places) and the fact that despite being incredibly dumb,this movie IS entertaining… and that's good, even if it's for allwrong reasons.

    …as for amount of propaganda, this movie is 100% okay, consideringwhat comes from Moscow. Sure it's all bloated and overrated but this ishow we rock in those former USSR satellite countries. Even 50 of suchmovies can't counter a single evening news show from random RussianTV-channel. For westerners, you just have to accept that rules aredifferent, but watching all those Normandy landings in every Hollywoodmovie and video game, maybe not as much as you might think.

  4. i-sivukha from United Kingdom
    29 Mar 2012, 2:53 pm

    Cold war movie era is back!

    The movie has got no relation to the actual events of 08.08.08 and assuch must be classed as a propaganda.

    But cold war was over 20 years ago and the skills required to make araunchy propaganda blockbuster sadly have gone away. While watching itI kept on a lookout for Rambo to jump out and start downing Ruski'schoppers. And this is my main problem with movie; there was no Rambo!Every propaganda movie should have a Rambo! There was everything butRambo, e.g. evil Russians killing indiscriminately, angelic good guys,no attempt to give human-like features to the enemy, lame storyline andcheesy acting. There was also no main evil Russian guy with coolone-liners and a strong accent…

  5. Alfred Donovan from Plymouth, England
    29 Mar 2012, 2:53 pm

    Got this on DVD and was very excited, expecting to see a movie thatwould shine some light on the complex situation that has developedbetween Russia and Georgia. The writers had very rich material to workwith, the cast and the cover looked absolutely amazing, so one wouldexpect a good flick.

    The movie begins with a scene in Iraq which introduces us to the maincharacter. We see Heather Graham, but unfortunately her appearance issurprisingly short (it's actually the thing with this movie, all goodactors get very little screen time.) That scene is perhaps the onlything that impressed me in the whole movie, and perhaps the only part Iwill remember for a long time. Great effects, and cinematography.Unfortunately it goes downhill from that in a blink.

    After that brief introduction to the main character we see him going toGeorgia (because Val Kilmer in a bathtub told him, duh.) The dialogsare absolutely awful, especially the scene in a pub where thejournalists assemble and discuss how to wipe your ass in Tajikistan (orsome such), that dialog has contributed nothing to the movie and onlymade me dislike the characters. Then we see our journalists visiting awedding, which naturally gets bombed. That episode, no doubt, wasinspired by the Afghan wedding that was mistakenly bombed by US numberof years back, it made me wonder why the writers decided to use eventsfrom Afghanistan in this movie… but much later, my first surprise wasthat the episode showed four planes firing a rocket on a restaurant inthe middle of nowhere. That made no sense whatsoever, completelydestroying suspension of disbelief. The movie goes on like this forquite some time with number of events and characters' actions that makelittle sense, but then the really bizarre episodes begin.

    A very interesting moment in the movie is when the Russians are shownfor the first time marching forward. Russians are basically portrayedas Orcs, raping and pillaging like there's no tomorrow. While I'm surethere were atrocities committed by both sides (as in any war) suchportrayal of one side as plain evil made me wonder whether the movie isjust another part of the informational war that has been going on eversince the actual war ended.

    I have to say that I barely made it till the end, the movie had plentyof absurd moments past "the Orcs invasion." There's plenty of action,and visual effects, but with ridiculous story to glue them it's not apleasant thing to watch.

    Overall I found this movie disappointing, insulting to my intelligence,and badly written. I would recommend this movie only if you actuallylike one of the actors, otherwise don't waste you time.

  6. leontancfa from toronto
    29 Mar 2012, 2:53 pm

    I can't say Wikipedia is 100% right, but at least you can get a moreneutral view on what really happened there.http://en.Wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_South_Ossetia_war Georgia started thewar first. Human Rights Watch actually found war crime evidence ofGeorgia's army. But the movie turned around and accuse Russia had donethe war crime. and even said Human Rights Watch found the evidence ofRussia! I cannot believe how the director can be so shameless! Thedirector/story writer has an obvious political bias in shooting themovie. I have to say if people are OK with South Sudan beingindependent, why not the South Ossentia?

  7. synogatch from United States
    29 Mar 2012, 2:53 pm

    This film amounts to little more then a pro-Georgian propaganda flick.The events are intentionally handled in a loose and inaccurate fashion.The sequence of events is scrambled, and many events which did notactually occur are scripted.

    The fighting in Gori depicted in graphic detail at the end of the filmnever took place, Gori was taken by Russian forces without anyfighting. Also movement of the Russian Black Sea Fleet and groundtroops occurred after the war started, not prior. However, perhaps thegreatest lie of the film, is ignoring the initial outbreak ofhostilities, which culminated in a Georgian assault on Tshinvali whichleft close to 2000 Ossetian civilians dead. Total Georgian civilian wardead numbered around 150. This films attempt to portray the sufferingof Georgian civilians in graphic detail, while ignoring similar actsperpetrated by the Georgian military completely destroys any value thisfilm has in terms of portraying real historical events. The result is aportrayal of a war that has unclear beginnings, followed by anexcessively violent Russian advance, rather different from thehistorical actual events that unfolded. Particularly noteworthy is theintentional misrepresentation and de-humanization of Russian militarypersonnel, and the the South Ossetian forces that participated in theconflict.

  8. jalexoid from Lithuania
    29 Mar 2012, 2:53 pm

    The ideas behind the story and the movie seem very noble – to bring toattention the horrors of war. For that we have story, eyewitnesses,victims, high press coverage and it all happened in recent history.However, something that was an ideal setting for a humanist drama iscorrupted by many flaws.

    Cinematography is frankly very bad. It's on par with home movies. Thereis little feel to the pictures you see and they do not deliver thefeelings that are behind the script. Unless you lived though thatparticular horror, this movie will not spark any passionate feelings.It's literally like watching a documentary of wildlife. In short, thepicture lacks any feel to it.

    Direction was ordinary at best. A few emotion filled moments wereapparent, yet the cinematography failures just wiped it off the face ofthe picture.

    Quite a lot of CG, yet it's not an action movie. It just kills anyunderlying messages. Though the CG was very good by itself.

    The story is over-politicized. Though I don't think that there isanything wrong to portray a single side of a conflict, I do have a lotof issues when that side is very political. It has very cleartendencies, that result in some strange plot "twists". Some make sense,some don't. Like in all stories the politics just covers up the humanside. It's no wonder that the story has tendencies, since quite a lotof Georgians worked on the movie. Sometimes such composition of crewresults in a highly emotional and expressive movie. Yet this time thosepersonal connections are lost along the way, giving way to thepolitical aspect of the story.

    The Georgians that were close to the conflict will feel emotionaltowards the movie and will relate in some way. People that were faraway will not see through the political veil and fail to relate tohardships and suffering of ordinary people.

  9. jennyhor2004 from Australia
    29 Mar 2012, 2:53 pm

    Directed by Renny Harlin and financed by the Georgian government, thisdrama is a Russian-bashing screed about the 2008 South Ossetia war andthe events leading to it. The movie revolves around the experiences oftwo news reporters Thomas Anders (Rupert Friend) and Sebastian Ganz(Richard Coyle) who accept an assignment in Tbilisi, Georgia, a yearafter their previous assignment together in Iraq ended badly: the twomen were rescued by a Georgian military unit in that country aftertheir car was ambushed by militants. Anders and Ganz's noses for news(and trouble) get them fired upon while watching a wedding at a ruralGeorgian inn, avoiding capture while witnessing and filming atrocitiesby Russian troops who have invaded the country, and ending up asprisoners of a Russian general (Rade Serbedzija). While simultaneouslyescaping, yet being drawn to, trouble and danger, the reporters pick upa Georgian woman, Tatia (Emmanuelle Chriqui), a guest at the wedding atthe inn. Through Tatia and a collective effort to broadcast Ganz'simages to the rest of the world while keeping them away from theRussians, Anders finds a new purpose in life and a reason to go onliving.

    The romance between Anders and Tatia doesn't make sense: why should thetwo fall in love simply because chance threw them together and put themin danger together and individually? Any "chemistry" that might existisn't present and the pair's kiss looks like an after-thought. Morebelievable is Anders's loyalty to Ganz when Ganz is injured in a bombattack and apparently dying: the two have been in many intenselife-and-death situations which few other people can understand andsympathise with. Both men are devoted to seeking the truth behindlayers of propagandistic fog though paradoxically this search can makethem vulnerable to manipulation by politicians and the military. Theplot's emphasis on safeguarding the memory stick that holds Ganz'simages and the Russians' attempt to destroy it leaves no room forcharacter development with the result that Anders, Ganz and theirfellow journalists end up perpetuating old World War Two stereotypesabout Russian soldiers torturing and killing people, raping women andtorching farms and properties with flamethrowers. (Such stereotypesadmittedly are based on fact: Soviet soldiers did act barbaricallytowards German civilians in the 1940s, partly as a result of thedebased culture in the Soviet armed forces that arose after the purgesof high-ranking military officers in the 1930s as ordered by Sovietleader Joseph Stalin, a Georgian native – what irony.) As the moviecarries on, hackneyed plot twists appear: Tatia's family is riven apartby internal betrayal, Ganz is threatened with torture by the Russiangeneral's sadistic enforcer (Nikko Mousiainen), an attempt to broadcastGanz's images fails when the reporters are targeted by a Russianhelicopter, and Ganz is hurt in the helicopter attack. The enforcerkidnaps Tatia and forces Anders to choose between saving her life andkeeping Ganz's film.

    The film could have focused more closely on the dilemmas thatjournalists in war zones face: for one thing, whether the search fortruth justifies putting their own lives and the lives of innocents indanger. There are various political and ethical decisions they have tomake: how closely should they work with the government or the military?how would such work interfere with their journalist code of ethics?There is a female journalist featured who is embedded with a Georgianarmy unit and viewers may well wonder what compromises she made to getthe story and pictures she wants for her employer. Will the opinionsshe expresses and the images she shows reflect a definite politicalagenda? The actors do what they can with the story and give at least athree-dimensional look to their characters. Andy Garcia as Georgianpresident Mikheil Saakashvili gives the best performance, endowing hischaracter with a dignity the real person probably doesn't deserve:before the 2008 war, Saakashvili had been criticised for the use ofbrutal police force against protesters in an anti-governmentdemonstration, and for declaring a state of emergency and suppressingpress freedoms as a result of the protests, in November 2007.Well-known US actors Val Kilmer and Dean Cain do little other thanparrot their lines and strut about as reporter and diplomatrespectively and fellow US actor Jonathan Schaek as Georgian militaryofficer Captain Avaliani spends his screen time saving Anders andGanz's hides.

    Any saving graces are in the Georgian settings: the cinematographyfeatures some lovely shots of a town perched on cliffs overlooking awinding river and of the countryside with its mountains and deepgorges. A church used as a refuge gives the film crew opportunities tophotograph pictures of religious icons and the wedding scene featuredearly in the movie gives a little insight into Georgian customs,traditional dress styles and folk dances. Curiously there are no nativeGeorgian actors in the film's major and minor acting roles; Georgiansare present only as extras.

    By lapsing into an action-movie rut the film fails to give anear-accurate portrayal of the work news journalists do and theproblems they face in unusual and intense situations wheredisinformation, propaganda and fear replace speech and press freedoms.The film does not do what it claims to do: the source of the film'sfinancing alone puts paid to any pretence of impartiality and regardfor truth. The Georgian armed forces are portrayed as decent andheroic, the Russians as cruel, barbaric and even criminal: in truth,both sides were guilty of over-reaction to provocation with Georgiaattacking South Ossetia first with heavy firepower and both Georgiansand Russians alike committing grave war crimes. The US role insupplying arms and military training to Georgia since the RoseRevolution in 2003 and encouraging a belligerent attitude towardsRussia should not go uncondemned either.

  10. deltagreen-2 from United States
    29 Mar 2012, 2:53 pm

    This film is certainly an enigma. Do you rate it for its acting andaction sequences, or for the historical accuracy of the conflict itpertains to? Covering the former, the acting here is fairly top-notchby all involved, and the action scenes are where this film excels.Since individuals involved with the Georgian government assisted inbankrolling the film, they also got full backing from the GeorgianArmy, so if you are an eclectic "tread-head" you will be pleased to seethe actual equipment used by both sides in the conflict, includingMi-24D Hind's, Su-25 Frogfoot's, T-72's w/ERA of various makes,BTR-60's & 70's, BMP-2's, you name it. This does much to lend an air ofcredibility when viewing. For the normal viewer this may not mattermuch, but the action scenes are well (sometimes too well)choreographed.

    Now as for the film's handling of its source material (the 2008Georgia- Russia war over South Ossetia and Abkhazia), make no mistakeabout it, this is a textbook example of propaganda film. The Russianand South Ossetian militia are portrayed as savage and mercilesskillers executing and gunning down everyone in sight, while the braveGeorgian soldiers are Hollywood Navy SEALS incarnate. Some of the moreobvious propaganda shots do tend to take away from the film a bit(people getting gunned down in classic slow motion), but all in all, ifyou realize what you are watching….

    So, take it for what it is, a very loose patriotic Georgian"interpretation" of the 2008 war. If you are decidedly pro-Russian, thefilm will likely make you fume. If you are decidedly pro-Georgian, itwill likely elicit a few cheers. If like me you are simply aware of thehistorical facts of the conflict but have no dog in the fight, you canjust sit back and enjoy a fairly good film covering subject mattermainstream Hollywood would never bother with. Just do yourself a favor,read up on the conflict before or after viewing so you at least have abalanced view….

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