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Armadillo [DVD]

Janus Metz Pedersen    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
Price: £6.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Armadillo [DVD] + Restrepo [DVD] + This Is War [DVD]
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Product details

  • Directors: Janus Metz Pedersen
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Danish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Soda Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 13 Jun 2011
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,063 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Award-winning film director Janus Metz arrives in Afghanistan with a group of young soldiers on their first tour of duty. Stationed on the Helmand frontline in Camp Armadillo the platoon fights increasingly fierce battles with an enemy that is nearby but rarely seen. Metz captures life on the frontline with an uncompromising and intense vision, bearing witness to the realities of the combat zone.
As the fighting intensifies the effect of modern warfare is gradually realized as exhaustion, fear and adrenaline set in. Idealism meets paranoia in an authentic gun battle and decisions are made that can never be reversed. Gripping, thought provoking and visceral, this is as close as you get to battle action from the edge of your seat.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing and insightful 25 May 2011
By Philip
I served as a medic in a FOB less than three miles from what was then FOB Armadillo, under the command of a successor Danish battalion during the winter of 2010-11 and therefore awaited the British release of this documentary with great anticipation.

It did not disappoint.

The director gives a realistic portrayal of what it is like to be deployed in that part of the world - he does not draw out the drama, he does not labour the fighting, but instead, also shows the boredom and the burning desire for action that any soldier on his first tour can relate to. The documentary explores this theme in some depth and you see the Danish soldiers explain how they frankly yearn to be tested, they yearn for the excitement of combat and fear going home without having experienced it and the frustration of boring routine patrols. You also see the fear and the adrenaline during the fire fights and the rush and exultation back in the FOB at having survived it and won. This is how it was with my unit and these scenes struck a big chord. This balance runs, I think, through the documentary and you are allowed to make your own mind up about the people and events you see in it.

The cinematography is almost too good so that sometimes you feel like you are watching fiction but to my mind this is true to what I experienced out there, you experience things so extreme and so alien to our western lives that it honestly feels like you are in a bad film. Therefore, this blurring of the fiction and non-fiction line powerfully conveys that feeling: fact does mirror fiction and you do experience, see and hear things that you would wince to see in film script.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Armadillo 7 Dec 2011
By Paul
I could detail the goings on, the tears prior to departure to the jubilation on completion but I will leave that for the viewing. It would be alien to most and may well misrepresent the true nature of this film if I were to give my version of the story. Instead, I will tell you this, it is a first hand account filmed almost entirely by helmet cam, with such a superb soldiers perspective, rarely portrayed as clearly as this. An insight into how the tenacious Afghanis view these modern crusaders and the value of life and property to them. The resultant feelings mirrored by these fine Danish lads as they meet the day to day challenge of staying alive and hunting the Taliban. Eat, sleep, fight and praying together; there is no other film like this. You must see it just for the varied view and outlook and the fact that there are so few films made about this war. The only aspect missing is smell, and frankly I'm pleased about that. This is a Graphic first hand account of life on the front line in this decade long conflict, told in the Danish tongue with subtitles. I would rate this alongside Das Boot, 9th company and Stalingrad, a must see.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In the Thick of it. 18 Jun 2011
******** CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS ********

"Armadillo" has quite rightly been described as visceral, and about as close to war as you are likely to get without actually being shot at. Even to the combatants it must all seem a bit surreal at times. I remember one soldier describing combat in that other hard hitting recent war documentary "This is War" as being "Like training but with real targets". Spookily enough the soldiers are showing playing 'shooter computer games' in "Armadillo". They of course soon find to their cost that real bullets are indeed being fired in their direction. It is a pity that this film has come out in the wake of Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington's "Restrepo" and the aforementioned "This is War", which with the help of modern filming techniques have taken the viewer closer than ever before to the real front line. In this case to within one kilometer of the Taliban positions in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Close enough for some all too real action! Perhaps because of these other good films it has been a little overlooked at this time.

In the film documentary filmmaker Janus Metz and his indefatigable cameraman Lars Skree follow a group of Danish soldiers from the news of their initial deployment in Denmark, to their front line duties based at Army Base Armadillo, Helmand Province, Afghanistan for 6 months in 2009. It is to be a long six months for the soldiers. For those with an aversion to subtitles, be warned that most of this film is in Danish. The film highlights so many of the problems that soldiers based in Afghanistan face. The Taliban often merge with the civilian population making target identification very difficult, and the risk of non combatant casualties high.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good. 10 Mar 2011
I find it amazing that Restrepo has a wealth of people reviewing it yet very few seem to have watched this film.

For me the most impressive part was the fact that they didn't shy away from showing the true realities of war. When people got wounded or killed, they showed you in full detail. I really think it's important when making a war documentary not to sanitise events as in this way you gain a greater understanding of what the soldiers actually experience themselves.

There is also a very good narrative, from their time when they start serving to meeting relatives when they arrive home. You get to see some of the people the soldiers have been talking about so fondly.

Would highly recommend.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing documentary
To be honest it was half way through before I realised that this was a documentary. The camera-men must have been right in the action here. Really nicely put together.
Published 2 months ago by Rupert Williamson
4.0 out of 5 stars very interesting
Great to see Afghanistan war from anther countrys army as most are either British or American. Very good dvd indeed
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars gam
there was no big battles no big body count but this is real good to see the danes holding there own in helmand documentry worth a watch
Published 4 months ago by neil gammie
5.0 out of 5 stars You can't get closer to the nature of conflict
Pedersen's documentary following Danish soldiers deployed in Afghanistan is a standard setter.

I previously watched Restrepo (2010) and while it is very worthy, to me it... Read more
Published 8 months ago by CMSN
4.0 out of 5 stars Barracks to Front line
Well written story that follows soldiers from their tearful goodbyes to their experiences on the front lines. Read more
Published 12 months ago by CD
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of Action
This is a very good action film,based on true events.I really enjoyed this film and would have no hesitation in recommending it to others.
Published 12 months ago by Mike
3.0 out of 5 stars Good film, shame about the DVD
I was expecting this film to be good and overall it lived up to my expectation. It is very well put together to show the complete experience that these Danish soldiers had on their... Read more
Published 19 months ago by P. Conlon
4.0 out of 5 stars As it really is
Thoroughly enjoyed this movie/documentary.
I was very surprised that the troops involved were so battle worn and knowledgeable about what they were up against unlike our... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Paul Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars Not really a film ... more like a documentary
The cover of the DVD is misleading. This IS NOT a hollywood special effects bonanza. firstly it's all in Sub-Titles. It's filmed in Danish for a start. Read more
Published 21 months ago by A. Cresswell
4.0 out of 5 stars danes in afghan
Anything real coming out of Afghan, not Hollywood stuff, is worth watching. I had real trouble with the subtitles, white lettering on a white background is ridiculous. Read more
Published on 9 Mar 2012 by its a worry
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