Film Analysis and Commentary: Black Hawk Down

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  • Topic: Battle of Mogadishu, Somalia, Black Hawk Down
  • Pages : 3 (1055 words )
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  • Published : December 3, 2011
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Film Analysis and Commentary: Black Hawk Down
Somalia has been experiencing a civil war ever since Dictator Mohammed Siad Barre was ousted in 1991. Mohammad Farah Aidid emerged as a leader and relatively quickly, and genocide began almost immediately. By 1993, it was estimated over 300,000 Somalis had died, while over 900,000 had fled to neighboring countries. After several years of sending food and monetary aid, which was intercepted by Aidid supporters, President Bush announced the US would be sending in troops to Somalia. The United States began Operation Restore Hope, which was supposed to “create the security environment necessary to ensure the delivery of humanitarian relief to the Somali people.” (Fact sheet: Somalia--Operation Restore Hope). Originally named Operation Gothic Serpent, The Battle of Mogadishu, took place on October 3-4, 1993, and was the biggest firefight involving US soldiers since Vietnam (Bowden, “A defining battle”). It was an attempt to capture Aidid’s top political advisor, Mohamed Hassan Awale, and his foreign minister, Omar Salad Elmi. Journalist Mark Bowden’s book entitled Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War, tells the accounts of many people involved in the battle in which nineteen Americans, hundreds of Somalis were killed and over a thousand were wounded. Director Ridley Scott brings the book to life in the film Black Hawk Down (2001), which features Josh Harnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore, Eric Bana and Orlando Bloom. The award-winning film begins with PFC Blackburn’s fall from the Black Hawk helicopter. The film shows that the Somalis shooting at the Black Hawk helicopters with rocket-propelled grenades were the reason Blackburn slipped off the rope. Staff Sergeant Matt Eversmann, however, alludes to soldier inexperience being the cause of the fall as he recalls, “I don’t remember anyone shooting at us then” (14). The operation is planned to be completed in thirty minutes but takes over eighteen hours. On the...
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