D.J. Haza presents the fiftieth entry in his series of films to watch before you die…
Black Hawk Down, 2001.
Directed by Ridley Scott.
Starring Josh Hartnett, Eric Bana, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore, William Fichtner, Sam Shepard, Ewen Bremner, Gabriel Casseus, Hugh Dancy, Ioan Gruffudd, Jason Isaacs, Orlando Bloom, Tom Hardy and Matthew Marsden.
Black Hawk Down is the cinematic depiction of the Battle of Mogadishu. As the Americans make a move to capture the Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid one man falls from a helicopter in the middle of the city and severely hurts his back. As Humvees are deployed from the American’s base at Mogadishu airport a Black Hawk helicopter is shot down by an RPG. The Humvees on route to pick up the fallen soldier are sent off track by a range of roadblocks and militia barricades. They become lost in the violent city and suffer heavy casualties.
As some of the American Army Rangers get to the crash site and set up a perimeter another Black Hawk is shot down. With the team heading to help at the crash sites pinned down and engaged in gunfire neither of the crash sites can get much support apart from two snipers being dropped at the second crash site. As both sites are overrun the soldiers at the second site are killed or captured and those at the first site hold on through the night taking heavy fire. Only a few make it back alive.
The film although telling a true story, was not entirely accurate and its critics say it concentrates on the 19 Americans that died and not the Somalis, of up to possibly 2000, who were killed in the battle or the efforts of the Pakistani military who rescued many of the men who made it out. As you can imagine it hasn’t been well received in Somalia.
Black Hawk Down is a fantastic film that you must see before you die as it really brings home the pressure those soldiers found themselves under amidst heavy gunfire and little options. The frenetic directing really gives audiences a point of view of American soldiers caught in close quarters battle and the film was a massive box office success grossing almost $173,000,00.