What does this pair of films, one a documentary about POW Dieter Dengler, the other a drama based upon his story, tell us about the moral obligations film makers have toward the subjects of their films? How does the treatment of Eugene DeBruin in Rescue Dawn illustrate director Werner Herzog’s failure in regard to these obligations? How did Dieter Dengler’s early life in Post War Germany prepare him for enduring the horrors of captivity, and the rigors of the escape undertaken by his group? How does the movie illustrate the common tendency in Hollywood to underplay the challenges veterans face as they return from war? Does this indicate a cultural discomfort with these issues? What commentary does this provide on the broader American society’s stewardship responsibilities toward those who serve, and experience the rigors of war?

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