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Hart's War 2002
7.4 of 76

Hart's War

SD 6.30 125 min
Shortly before the end of World War II, young, bright-eyed, First-Lieutenant Thomas Hart, a third-generation desk-warrior, is stationed in an office miles away from any fighting. He meets the war only by accident and is taken prisoner. During interrogation, Hart faces a test of honor, courage, and sacrifice he had not prepared for. Surviving the interrogation, the horrified Hart witnesses courage and honor in the acts of his fellow-prisoners, who save him from certain death by sacrificing their belongings and even their own lives. At the POW camp, Hart learns that courage, sacrifice, and honor are much harder to find, as men become embittered in their captivity. Instead, fraternization, opportunism, and racism abound, ever-encouraged by the murderous Nazis, lead by a grounded Luftwaffe colonel; and mostly tolerated by the senior-ranking American colonel, in spite of his being a 4th-generation military offcer. Col. McNamara, mostly indifferent to the goings-on of his Americans, defiantly draws the line at racism, saluting even the Russian "Untermenschen" in the neighboring compound. But this line becomes much less distinct as two downed African-American pilots join him in the American compound. Suddenly, American racism manifests itself and escalates until one of the pilots is murdered, and the other is accused of murdering one of the racist conspirators. A law-student before the war, Hart is appointed by McNamara to "defend" the court-marshalled pilot, where Hart learns that McNamara has taken great pains to guarantee a verdict of "guilty" against the lone African-American. For many prisoners, the war would be over. For Hart, it has barely begun, as he fights to find within himself the courage and honor that seems to be completely lost within the camp, and only to be had among the dead and the condemned.

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