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1/04/2011

Tuesday's Observation, "My Boy Jack"



This last Sunday evening I watched a program on our Chicago PBS station, Channel 11. WTTW. Our "Window To The World". I had seen advertisements for this particular program earlier on and I wanted to watch it because Daniel Radcliffe, of "Harry Potter" fame, was to play the lead character, "My Boy Jack".

I wanted to watch it because of him. I wanted to see him 'do' something other than Harry Potter - I wanted to see just how good he is - or isn't.

I wish everyone could see it because of the story.

John "Jack" Kipling died in his first action, attacking a German machine gun, the day after his Eighteenth Birthday. The Battle of Loos. In 1915.

The battle scenes in the movie were stark. Real. An accurate image of the living hell that was trench warfare in WWI.

But it's the image of the death of Jack Kipling that I see over and over in my mind. And it's accurate. A Private from Jack's Irish Guard's Platoon came to the family home some months after Jack was killed and told them how he died. He knew. He was there. His Lieutenant was killed right in front of him and he could do nothing to help. And he felt guilty.

I have never seen anything that brought home the stupidity of warfare - the waste of warfare - the ugliness of warfare - quite like this story has. For me.

I have been to war. I have seen people die. Some by my hand. I have never been able to explain how it felt - how I feel about it.

In this movie, I have seen my feelings laid bare.

The agony of those left behind - the understanding that there is no glory in death and dying - that it's a tragedy visited on a family that will echo through the generations that follow - that it is all so senseless. It's all there.

See it. Find a way to see it. Feel me.

Ndinombethe.

8 comments:

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

Wow, Lou, thanks for the review. And I'm so sorry it touched a nerve. I'm sure it's really painful and I won't be condescending and act like I can imagine it. I can't. I can just say, I'm sorry.

Shadow said...

there is no glory in war. none, whatsoever. not for the winner, not for the loser, not for the cause...

Myst_72 said...

My Grandad says it was either shoot or die...that's how he gets through it I guess.
He is 88 years old and retells war stories as vividly as if it happened yesterday.
I tell my boys to listen to Poppy, as there won't be anyone left to tell the stories one day...

Love you lots Lou,

G
xx

Jientje said...

I cannot even begin to imagine what it must have been like to be in a war. Beautiful post Lou, it moved me.

Nan Sheppard said...

Is it okay for certain boys?

PattiKen said...

My wish is that more "warriors" felt as you do. If they did, we might see an end to the horror of war.

I'll look for My Boy Jack. My fear is that it may have gone by, but I'll watch for it to come around again.

Loraine said...

This is why I started minoring in Peace and Justice Studies- it's a new program, one that attempts to train people to help stop wars before they start. I hope I can do some good for the world in that respect. War is an ugly, ugly thing- for everyone involved.

Joyce-Anne said...

My husband and I watched the same movie. I thought Daniel Radcliffe portrayed Jack very well. As for war, well, to me, it is senseless.