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The Hornet's Nest

The Hornet's Nest (2014)

May. 09,2014
| History Documentary War

Armed only with their cameras, Peabody and Emmy Award-winning conflict Journalist Mike Boettcher, and his son, Carlos, provide unprecedented access into the longest war in U.S. history.


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When a movie has you begging for it to end not even half way through it's pure crap. We've all seen this movie and this characters millions of times, nothing new in it. Don't waste your time.


One of the worst ways to make a cult movie is to set out to make a cult movie.


All of these films share one commonality, that being a kind of emotional center that humanizes a cast of monsters.


2014 American documentary, filmed and narrated by wartime journalist's father and son, Mike Boettcher and Carlos Boettcher.Summary: In real life there are no re-spawns, this is no call of duty. A fantastic real life account of the ever present war on terror being fought in Afghanistan. A film that takes you deep into 'The hornets nest', deep into situations you wouldn't even dream about, situations where all hope for humanity is lost, where words cannot describe the horrors that are present, where all faith is questioned. We follow father and son journalist's Mike and Carlos Boettcher as they spend a year with the real heroes the 101st airborne in Afghanistan. This is not based on a true story, this is a true story. A sight we always see, a report we always hear in our every day lives, but do we ignore it? or is it seemingly not real that there is a war going on? That is just one of many questioned posed in this real life insight to the ever present war on terrorism. Although stated as 'directed by' David Salzberg and Christian Tureaud "The Hornets nest" is filmed entirely by father and son Mike and Carlos Boettcher, and is an eye witnessed account of their experience living, breathing and doing everything these soldiers of the 101st airborne do day in and day out in Afghanistan. Mike Boettcher is a journalist who has spend the best part of 37 years reporting from some of the worst war zones in history, he has spend the majority of his reporting life in the deep end bringing people at home the truth of war. As well as being an account of the war in Afghan, we follow Mike's quest to build a lost relationship between him and his son Carlos, who in attempt to rebuild this relationship embarks on this journey with his father. The journey is narrated by Mike throughout, as he gives a step by step as to what he and his son were witnessing and feeling. This however, proved to be a bit misleading, as the film suffers a lack of time line, because we forget that they were based in Afghan for over 12 months, and the jump between story is rather sporadic. However, this is understandable as there is clearly a , countless amount of footage, but clarity mixed with overtly dramatic music throughout proves to be a bit confusing. Although this does not detract from the fact that what we as an audience are viewing is real, and actually has actually happened. The reality of what is occurring in Afghanistan is emphasised early on, when we are with Carlos interviewing a couple of soldiers regarding a road block, it is at this point soldiers are fired upon. The film is predominantly based in the notorious 'Korangal Valley' known by the locals as 'Death Valley', a fitting and obvious title. Mike and Carlos both follow a unit who are sent out to clear the pass of snipers as this pass is used to transport non lethal supplies to the soldiers. Almost instantly the soldiers are fired upon, and also both Mike and Carlos receive heavy fire and must continue to film whilst taking cover. It is at this point that Carlos must move to better cover up at the top of the hill as they cannot ascertain where fire is coming from, we follow him running up the hill, only to fall down whilst fire is still coming over head, and to our horror he stops moving. There are moments throughout this documentary that the relationship between father and son (Mike and Carlos) is really drilled home, and the notion of parent and child, which allows us as an audience to understand how these soldiers are someone's friend, father, husband/partner.The climax of this story is when Carlos leaves Afghan ahead of his father, and Mike stays on to follow the 101st airborne into "The Hornets Nest", the Hornets nest is a term used to describe an ambush where you are surrounded, and the centre of an ambush. For 9 days the 101st stand and fight back against Muslim militia. Although as a film there are many cinematic mishaps, and areas where the continuity and narrative arch are complicated, it is the reality of war that makes this documentary award winning. Finally, it is the end of the documentary which draws all glamour, fiction and Hollywood of war away from this documentary. And with one final bullet wound to the viewer, Mike Boettcher shows us the real loss of war, as we witness the funeral of the fallen men who died during this nine day battle of 'The Hornets Nest', a truly moving sequence. Clint Eastwood : I want the troops from Great Britain and the U.S. to be successful, but by the same token, Afghanistan has always been a screw-up.


The wars our soldiers have endured in Iraq and Afghanistan deserve the best possible understanding by an informed citizenry. This documentary is about as close to being shot in combat as you will get to see. Take off your political hat and just watch and listen to the bullets fly past. Men are killed in this documentary (though you don't get to see the incident). Men die because they can't be rescued in time. You get to see heart break their friends, sergeants and officers feel at the loss. I also recommend you read/listen to "The Good Soldiers" by David Filkens about our troops in Iraq. If you do all that--then you can really say the words: "Thank you for your service!"


If you have ever seen the woods surrounding Bastogne, Belgium? I watched this film I wondered if war truly ever ends, or does the scenery just change. I enjoyed the movie and about the father and son bonding in the middle of a war zone. It just hit me that, like Restrepo, the tactics here resembled the Thunder Run down Highway One in Vietnam. No solid Intel, just Gator Bait with bullets and bombs. That troubled me, because using Gator Bait tactics, the result is almost always the same. The Officers didn't appear to prepare the NCOs for an Op in the Devil's front yard. But then again, how do you prepare to fight an enemy, in their back yard, that fought the Roman Legions and the British Empire? I do not think you can find the answer in FM 25-100 and FM 25-101. I agree that we just planted seeds, really expensive seeds.


Both are excellent, seat of your pants, documentaries. All men and women under 30 should see this movie and then go complain about how bad they have it. These are real men and women, America's best, and they are over there kicking butts and taking names. They don't fight for some "pie-in-the-sky" idea of America but they fight for each other. They are in a bad situation and trying to make it out all in one piece. So sad that our political leaders never learn from past mistakes and tie our military's hands behinds its back. I'm not real keen on Hollywood and what comes out of it. This is not part of that pathetic industry -- great movie, worth your time AND your money.