Janus Metz accompanied Danish soldiers from the Guard Hussards regiment for a six month tour in Afghanistan. We see them leaving, we are with them for six months and we see them return. In between there are long bouts of boredom punctuated by short punches of violence, hearts and minds (that reminds me…) and all that kind of stuff. And an event, a confrontation with Taleban, which caused something of a furor in Denmark upon release. Giving rise to claims of a war crime.
The most interesting thing about the film for me is how the filmmakers blur the lines between real life and a war film. The colour filters and the grain on some shots make the events seem unreal, staged. It lulls you into believing what you are seeing isn’t real, only for something to remind you that it is. It’s shaky-cam because the man was actually shaking when he held the camera. But when events seem unreal it’s easy to cheer along with things you wouldn’t dare in real life.
I could gush for a long time and make even less sense. It is a shame that it came out around the same time as Restrepo which was the other, English-language Afghanistan War documentary and was kind of dwarfed by it. I think Armadillo is the more difficult to watch, not because of its content but because of how it makes you feel about yourself.