Since humanity began to comprehend the concept of his own territory and his exclusive control over it, the idea of war has been steadily brewing within the species. And as human civilization progressed, so did the development of warfare equipment. However, the majority of wars throughout history have been conducted between two or more nations. Kings declared war on other kingdoms in an effort to subjugate them and establish a larger empire than any other ruler in history.
However, there is another type of conflict that is equally dangerous: one that occurs within a single state, between its citizens. And such conflicts are known as civil battles. Here, the country is divided into two factions that formally proclaim war on one another. The two most significant civil conflicts in history are the American and Spanish Civil conflicts. The American Civil War was waged between the Northern and Southern regions of the United States. It was primarily contested over whether or not it was acceptable to boycott slavery. While the northern states, known as the Union, believed slavery should be abolished, the southern states disagreed, resulting in one of the bloodiest wars in human history. The Spanish Civil War was fought between a dictator and a republican government just prior to the Second World War.
Throughout history, civil conflicts have ravaged and plundered numerous nations. Throughout the 20th century, a number of African nations engaged in civil conflicts. Keeping all of this in mind, we have compiled a list of the greatest Civil War films of all time. The following is a list of excellent Civil War films currently available to access on Netflix.
1976 is a Nigerian period drama film directed by Izu Ojukwu and set in 1976. It follows the pregnant wife of a young soldier accused of plotting a military rebellion and conspiring against the military. Despite being set six years after the conclusion of the Nigerian Civil War, the narrative contains references to the conflict. In addition, it illustrates how the Nigerian Civil War led to a period of discrimination and mistrust, and how various groups suffered as a result.
Beasts Of No Nation (2015)
This 2015 film is based on the 2005 novel of the same name. The film is written and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga and tells the tale of a boy soldier in the rebel army of a country that is well into a civil war. Although its name is never specified, the nation is located somewhere in Africa. In the film, Abraham Attah and Idris Elba portray the leading roles. This was Attah’s debut film, and his performance earned him the Marcelo Mastroianni Award at the Venice Film Festival.
Agu is the name of Attah’s character, and after his parents and siblings are executed by the government camp on suspicion of being rebels, he escapes and joins a unit of rebel soldiers commanded by the Commandant, portrayed by Elba. Even though Commandant takes Agu under his wing, he assaults him, and then the soldiers give him brown-brown, which is a mixture of cocaine and smokeless gunpowder. Some subsequent events cause Agu’s group to lose contact with their parent organisation, and their situation continues to deteriorate. Elba garnered a Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance in the film, which received widespread critical acclaim.
Da 5 Bloods (2020)
Spike Lee’s ‘Da 5 Bloods’ is a war drama film about a group of African-American Vietnam War veterans who return to the United States in search of their missing squad commander. However, the group’s true objective is to retrieve the riches they hid during their initial expedition. Despite not being a typical Civil War film, the film emphasises the political tensions in Vietnam. It also emphasises how the Vietnam War affected and impacted the lives of the soldiers involved. ‘Da 5 Bloods’ is one of the best films to combine combat and politics in a single narrative, thanks to Lee’s deft direction and the cast’s potent performances, including the late Chadwick Boseman.
First They Killed My Father (2017)
This film, helmed by Angelina Jolie, is unquestionably her finest work to date. A family trapped in the crossfire of the Cambodian Civil War, the Cambodia Campaign, and the Vietnamese-Cambodian War is the subject of this moving narrative. The film is based on a true tale by Loung Ung, who co-wrote the screenplay with Angelina Jolie. Ung’s father was a soldier for the Cambodian government against which the communist Khmer Rouge had proclaimed war. The rebels capture the family and force them to work in labour camps with almost no sustenance. They also prohibited the use of foreign products in the camps, including medication, resulting in the death of a number of captives due to the appalling conditions of the camp.
The revolutionaries maintained their propaganda within the camps, attempting to convince the captives of the significance of rebelling against the government. Loung had escaped the camp and enlisted as a child combatant in a different camp, where she helped plant mines and received better treatment than she had as a labourer. The film chronicles the lives of the family’s children who survive the war. Critics praised this film at the Telluride and Toronto International Film Festivals.
Greg Barker’s ‘Sergio’ is a biographical film based on the biography of United Nations Special Representative for Iraq Sérgio Vieira de Mello. The film depicts Sérgio’s harrowing experiences in Baghdad following a hotel explosion. The narrative touches on the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq and the subsequent Civil War in the country. The focus remains on Sergio and his colleague’s struggles, however. In contrast to the majority of films on this list, it offers a perspective on war from outside the military.
The Endless Trench (2019)
The Spanish-French historical drama ‘The Endless Trench’ or ‘La trinchera infinita’ follows Higinio Blanco (Antonio de la Torre), who recently married a seamstress named Rosa (Belén Cuesta) against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War of 1936. For criticising the Nationalist government, he is compelled to go into hiding. The film is divided into chapters, similar to a novel. Blanco is on the run from the Falangists in the first chapter (hence the chapter’s title ‘campeada’ or ‘to run’) and ultimately hides under his home’s floor. After his neighbours betray him in chapter 2,’seconder or ‘to conceal,’ Blanco has no choice but to move under the kitchen. As the film progresses, he grows accustomed to life in his hole, causing his family to question if he will emerge once the threat has passed.
The Siege of Jadotville (2016)
The war action film ‘The Siege of Jadotville’ is directed by Richie Smyth and centres on Commandant Pat Quinlan (Jamie Dornan) of the Irish Army, who commands a peacekeeping unit against an overwhelming number of Congolese soldiers. The film is set in 1961, following the assassination of Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, which sparked the country’s Civil War. Aficionados of historical dramas will enjoy the film’s breathtaking visuals and inspiring, emotionally resonant narrative.