If War Were Hell...
If war were hell and only hell and there were no other colors on the palette, I do not think people would continue to make war”, is a quote from Michael Herr in the documentary “First Kill”. The quote isn’t just a statement; it’s an invitation to look beyond the obvious horror of war and consider its multifaceted appeal to humans.
Documentaries often shine a light on the most obscure, fascinating, or disturbing aspects of humanity. The documentary “First Kill” by Coco Schrijber is no exception. This haunting film delves deep into the complex emotions, the psyche of soldiers, and the very nature of war itself.
The firsthand accounts of Vietnam War veterans form the crux of “First Kill”. They recount the complexities of their emotions – the fear, the adrenaline, and the haunting memories of taking a life for the first time. Their narratives provide a harrowing insight into the feelings that accompany violence: not just fear and hate, but also seduction and, shockingly, pleasure.
Michael Herr: The man beheind the quote
A central figure in “First Kill” is Michael Herr, the (former) American war reporter known for his candid portrayals of the Vietnam War. Embedded with patrol units, Herr’s reports on their journeys into the “Heart of Darkness” reflected the brutal realities of conflict, making the war palpable for those distant from the front lines. As the scriptwriter for the iconic film “Full Metal Jacket,” Herr’s insights into war transcend mere observation. His writings provide a raw and unfiltered glimpse into the world of soldiers, warfare, and its haunting aftermath.
His Influence on Full Metal Jacket and the Documentary "First Kill"
Michael Herr’s profound insights into the Vietnam War significantly influenced the narrative of both “Full Metal Jacket” and “First Kill”. Drawing from his firsthand experiences and deep understanding of soldiers’ psyches, Herr contributed depth to these projects, cementing their reputations as some of the most authentic war films of our era.
If War Were Hell... Conclusion
For those intrigued by the complexities of war, human behavior, and the emotions that come with it, watching “First Kill” is more than just a recommendation; it’s a must. The documentary, with its profound insights and poetic narrative, promises a viewing experience that is both enlightening and deeply moving.
“First Kill” challenges our perceptions of war. With Michael Herr’s thought-provoking quote at its center, the documentary invites viewers to look beyond the black and white narrative of war and delve into its many shades. For anyone seeking a deeper understanding of war’s allure and the human experience, this documentary may not be missed.