If the conflict in Bosnia has become something of a forgotten war, it's not for the want of trying from the immensely powerful BBC film Warriors
, the story of five young soldiers and their harrowing experiences in the region. Opening with an extended view of the five's home lives--all are on leave when called up to form part of the UN peacekeeping mission--Peter Kosminksy invites the viewer to experience the war at a strictly personal level. And while this leaves little scope for any general political overview of events (aside from the horror of war) this is a piece of drama and not a documentary. Once transported to Bosnia, the protagonists find that their role as peacekeepers leaves them largely sidelined and unable to intervene and save lives, often forced to stand by and watch mass slaughter. Not since M*A*S*H
have the absurdities of "the rules of engagement" been so eloquently examined. It is the darkening spiral that the five are sent on by these events and the relationships they form throughout them that forms the crux of the film, never demonstrated more clearly than by the return to the friends and families who see them as heroes. Bloody and sickening in parts, Warriors
is given extra poignancy by the fact that it is based on the real-life testimony of British soldiers. A million miles away from the Rambo
s of this world this is the war film coming of age. --Phil Udell
In 1992, five soldiers in the British army - Privates James and Skeet, Lieutenants Loughrey and Feeley, and Sergeant Sochanik - receive word that all leave is cancelled, and they are to form a United Nations protection force in Bosnia. It is the beginning of three years of personal and political conflict, as those involved begin to question their instincts and ability to obey orders under increasingly difficult circumstances.