Sunday, 18 November 2012

Resistance (2011)

I am still not sure what to make of Resistance the 2011 film made with the help of the Film Agency for Wales together with other interests. I have watched the film twice in an effort to understand aspects of the story. The film is set in a quiet farming valley in Wales as the UK has been invaded by Germany after the failure of the D Day landings. A small unit sets up in a farm on a special mission by the German High Command. They have information that hidden is a special Artefact but when the officer in charge discovers it in a cave he keeps this to himself.

The film opens as the men in the valley leave home without telling their families in order to join the partisans. I could not I understand why none of the men disclosed their intentions or tried to get message back to their women folk. One young man in the nearest town to the valley is appointed as some kind of contact/postman with the underground movement by someone who then leaves and is also ordered to take action against anyone who collaborated with the enemy when it arrives. There is also a scene in which the unit is involved in killing some men although its not clear what the men have done and who they are. The unit also appears to have been involved in close fought battles on their way to Wales.

Because the discovery of the artefact is not disclosed the unit spend the Winter in the Valley during which time they get to know and help the women to survive on the farms and as the Winter becomes Spring and the uniforms of the men wear out the make use of the civilian clothing used by the men folk of the community for every day use.

It becomes clear from talk between the unit leader and one of the young wives that he does not intend to return to Germany once the war is over and hopes to settle in the community with her. He destroys letters sent home by unit members as well as letters sent to them. The young man left in the town kills the new foal owned by a woman on one of the farms because she is being helped by of the German soldiers after she goes into the town for necessary supplies for the community. There she learns that her husband has been killed as a partisan having said to a woman she knows that he was back home working hard. She dies what appears shortly afterwards from the loss of foal and the news about her husband which she keeps to herself not to upset the other waiting women. Following the death the young wife burns the artefact she has been shown by the unit leader and it appears she too is going off to join the partisans despite the expectation that the war will shortly be over although what happens to her and unit is left unsettled.

There have been other incidents before this which occur but are not explained. It appears one of the men returns and greets a man work on his farm only to realise too late the man is a soldier and he is captured and then executed on the orders of the unit leader, and for some reason that the man appears to have been tortured by the Gestapo is a factor in the decision.

I failed to work out the point of the film. That an enemy is no different from those who fight is one issue. That without their men some women will establish relationships with men who they come into contact whether allies from other countries or other men home on leave or working in the UK. Perhaps a prisoner of war allocated to work on the land in the or as we know women who fraternised with the occupying forces in Western Europe during World War II.

Another incident is when a member of the unit reports that orders were given to execute those on their own side who became wounded so that the people back home would not be demoralised if the men were allowed to be returned home for treatment, perhaps it is the nature of the regime they are furthering and what they are ordered to do as well as the length of the conflict which leads the unit leader to want to disappear and merge into this isolated community. Is the film entertaining ? No .It remains unclear to me what the purpose of the film is?

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