“The Hornet’s Nest” – A Mission, Not a Movie
This was published today on BreachBangClear.com. Guys, please go see this movie.
At first glance, The Hornet’s Nest seems a straightforward documentary about American troops on a combat mission. Second glance, it’s the compelling human story of a war correspondent’s mission to reconnect with his semi-estranged adult son in, of all places, wartime Afghanistan. But when you look further, you realize what the movie actually is.
The Hornet’s Nest is not a movie about a mission. This movie is a mission.
I admit to being biased as hell toward this movie. I’m an Iraq and Afghanistan vet, and spent almost a year in Kapisa province before the troops from The Hornet’s Nest arrived. Whatever my feelings about the wisdom or conduct of the Afghanistan War, my pride in service is without reservation. But I like to think I’m objective enough to criticize what needs to be criticized. I’ve written with frustration about the deliberate fabrications in Lone Survivor, tried and failed to like the comic-bookish Act of Valor, and don’t even want to get started on The Hurt Locker because I’ll have a BS-induced heart attack.
So when I sat down to watch THN this past weekend, I wanted to like it. But I knew I might walk out of the movie disgusted. And I only knew the basics about it; 101st Air Assault soldiers, Kunar province, 2011-ish, combat footage filmed by a father-son team. What I didn’t know were the histories of 34-year war correspondent Mike Boettcher (pronounced “betcher”, as in “you betcher ass”) and his son Carlos. I didn’t know they repaired their relationship by risking their lives together as embedded journalists. I didn’t know the Marines of 2/8 in Helmand province figured prominently in the movie, or that it would give an almost all-female Blackhawk medevac crew well-deserved recognition. I didn’t know the movie is a non-profit project, or how passionately the men and women behind it, both military and civilian, believe in it.
Filed under: Afghanistan | 6 Comments
Tags: afghan war, Afghanistan, hornet's nest, veteran writers