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Jhjh Essay

1343 words - 6 pages

The film Armadillo (2010) depicts a six month rotation of a small group of Danish soldiers in Afghanistan. During this film we are shown the day to day lives of these soldiers and how they struggle with, or revel in, the realities of an active war zone. But what is it within humanity that drives us to such violent conflicts in the first place? And how, if possible, can we avoid war? In a letter to Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud suggests that war and human aggression is natural but may be overcome. He offers three antidotes to war in the hopes to bring peace to our world. The film Armadillo attempts to give up a neutral view into the reality of war from the perspective of the soldier. In this paper I will be asking the question; In what ways does this film support a negative bias against Freud’s three antidotes to war.
Freud proposes that conflicts of interest are naturally solved through violence, just as they are in the animal kingdom (Einstein and Freud, 1932, p. 210). He suggests that humankind has two fundamentally tied instincts of Eros, the drive to conserve, unify and reproduce, and Thanatos, the drive to destroy and kill (Einstein and Freud, 1932, p. 2012-2013). The solution to war, for Freud, is to ensure the dominance of our instinct of love and unity over our instinct of destruction. He offers three antidotes to war, which are; to love your neighbours as you love yourself, to identify commonalities in each other to create a sense of community, and lastly to submit to moral reason (Einstein and Freud, 1932, p. 214). The ways the lives of the Danish soldiers in the film are depicted undermine Freud’s solutions for peace.
Through scenes depicting the glorification of violence and dehumanizing the Afghan people in the film, Armadillo undermines Freud’s first antidote to war; to love thy neighbour as thyself. Early in the film after the new arrivals’ first patrol, three of the soldiers, including Daniel, are having a discussion in a back room. They are complaining that they didn’t get to see any action on the patrol with one exclaiming that it is ‘like going to a fun fair without riding the roller coaster.’ He says this right after another soldier reminds them that they are there to help the Afghani people as if dismissing the notion as irrelevant. Later there is a scene showing a meeting between Danish soldiers and an Afghani father and son. Both father and son are quite upset and state that they live in fear of their house getting bombed. They state that the only ones dying are civilians and somehow it is their fault for being in the way. The soldiers ignore these statements and continue to try and mine the father and son for information on the Taliban. We can see in both scenes the needs of the Afghan civilians come secondary to the needs and desires of the Danish soldiers to the point of dehumanizing them to nothing more than sources of information and targets of aggression. We can see further evidence of this later in a scene which...

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