Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Breaker Morant

I saw the movie Breaker Morant only 35 years after its initial release. Starred Edward Woodward just a five years before The Equalizer.

The movie was set during the Boer War in South Africa. Some Australian soldiers are court martialed for murdering prisoners and a German missionary. And, of course, they were guilty. Their defense was that they were only following orders. They were being prosecuted because the German government objected to the missionary being murdered and there was a danger that they would join the war against the murderous Brits.

It might make a double feature with Judgement at Nuremberg or The Winston Affair.

The Winston Affair starred Keenan Wynn as an Army lieutenant charged with murdering a British officer during World War Two. The Army wants to convict him quick to smooth things over between the British and American troops so they can get on with the war. But defense attorney Robert Mitchum has different ideas.

But movies like The Winston Affair and Judgement at Nuremberg were less ambiguous than Breaker Morant. In one, the defendant was insane, in the other, the defendants were Nazis.

We sympathize with the defense in Breaker Morant, but the defendants were horrible people. The Boers were no picnic either and their being murdered by the Brits shouldn't have bothered me. They were all colonialists, all racist scum.

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