Friday, July 27, 2012

Culloden/The War Game

In the mid-60s, BBC filmmaker Peter Watkins crafted two unflinching documentary style recreations of war, one on the small scale of an 18th century battle and the other on the effects of nuclear detonation, depicting the all encompassing horrors that surround these disparate conflicts. "Culloden" depicts the 1746 effort which marked the last ditch effort of the Jacobite Rebellion in the Scottish Highlands and the British troops efforts to eliminate those said people through economic warfare. Watkins' follow-up was the Oscar winning "The War Game" which, in exacting and vividly descriptive detail, demonstrates the firsthand results of nuclear war. Presenting both staged films as if a documentary crew were present, interviewing the participants and victims, while capturing the unfolding events, Watkins and his crew capture the larger horrors while providing the lesser thought of consequences of these radically different forms of conflict. In "Culloden" and "The War Game", Watkins presented two harrowing, all encompassing anti-war statements.