DVD Night: Red Tails


“A crew of African American pilots in the Tuskegee training program, having faced segregation while kept mostly on the ground during World War II, are called into duty under the guidance of Col. A.J. Bullard.”

Before watching this film I knew very little about the role of black American fighter pilots in World War II, but quite a bit about the Black civil rights movement in the 1950s and Jim Crow. I feel much more informed on the matter now.

The film was educational and offered entertainment as an action/comedy/drama film. The acting was great and the film itself was very diverse in the topics it broached (romance, POW camps, dog fights, bomber raids, American politics, social issues etc) and quite long. I had thought that this was going to be a small historical film, but it wasn’t, it was an epic movie – maybe I should have guessed from the incredible cast list!

The script was very intelligent and the dialogue flowed naturally in each scene, while giving you a real sense of who these characters were and their individual motivations. It was peppered with historical facts, terms and ideas which gave a real sense of time and place to the movie, beyond anything a mere set design could have achieved – phrases like ‘the Atlanta Compromise’ sparked my interest (and turned me to wikipedia two minutes after the credits rolled).

I had thought this film might remind me of the last great military airplane film I watched (no not Top Gun), ‘The Red Baron’ set in WW1 which I adored, but the tone of this film was completely different. Somehow it escaped the nitty gritty attitude of that film, ‘Red Tails’ is much less harrowing and the sort of film I might let older kids watch with me.

So, a great film night! What are you watching?



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