Flags of Our Fathers is yet another Hollywood film depicting an event in World War II and its consequences. The film is based on the book with the same name written by James Bradley about the battle of Iwo Jima centering around the soldiers who raised the first American flag on Japanese soil as the author is a son of one of those soldiers. The event was photographed and that image has become one of the most famous pictures from the Second World War, depicting the symbol of American heroism. However, the truth behind the use of this flag-raising photograph as a propaganda for raising money for the war is disturbing and proves to be a nightmare for the survivors of the war.
The film is directed by Clint Eastwood. In fact, I would consider it as another typical war film. However, what makes this film special is a clever marketing and producing method of Hollywood studio to release another film called Letters from Iwo Jima, also directed by Clint Eastwood, which depicted the same battle of Iwo Jima from the Japanese point of view. As old saying goes, there is always two sides to a story. The idea of releasing two films around the same time about the same battle in World War II based on viewpoints from both sides was unique and brilliant.
As for the story of the film, Flags of Our Fathers delivered a strong anti-war message. Today, almost everybody knows that war could only bring harm to humanity. I should give a credit to the director to emphasis this in his film. However, despite a good intention, I found the flashback story-telling in the film very annoying. Without concentration, you could easily lost track with the film and that made the film less enjoyable to watch. All in all, it’s a good war film with elegant production but a poor screenplay.
4 Stars out of 5 – It’s a good movie of its own but watching this movie would never be completed without its companion film – Letters from Iwo Jima. I recommend watching both film, back to back, if possible.