the race and nationality issue, For Queen And Country also touches on the feelings ofotherness felt by many returning from combat. After an army training that has taught them the craft ofdispassionate murder. many veterans find it difficult to fit in with the moral constraints imposed by so-called civilised modes of behaviour. In the film. for instance. Reuben‘s swift familiarity with firearms is to scare off a potential romantic liaison with Amanda Redman‘s feisty cabbie. Significantly, it is this particular aspect of the film that links it to American cinema‘s response to the Vietnam war, where Seventies‘ l efforts as diverse as Scorsese‘s Taxi . . . Driver, Hal Ashby’s Coming Home Two new film releases are based on the experiences of and the Paul Schrader-scripted men who fought in the Falklands conflict. One is Sol/ifs Thundferlhave each followed , , . . - ea temptso a ienate veterans to British, the other Argentinian, and both use their very rebuild theirshaucred “m upon different stories to examine unsavoury home truths. returning to a seemingly ungrateful Trevor Johnston met the makers of For Queen and mgth‘erlandk b d h J h - tei man‘s eu en an t e o n country and veronlco cruz' Rambo character originally created co-writer Worrell. ‘As soon as you In the wake ofany national conflict, audience with a harsh tableau of arrive in this country, being in a the social reassessment that the Contemporary urban Britain» melal minority amomatically makes shock ofwar and its aftermath contrasting the respect that Reuben you an outsider,‘ explains the native almost inevitably creates, tends to he believes is due t0 him as a SOldier 3‘ LUCIE!“ Who‘s currently also reflected in that country‘s cultural Who was prepared to lay down his life gaming mUCh aCCl’dim for his practice. Just released are two new in battle. With the abuse and Channel 4 SitCOm DesmOIId'S. ‘Ifyou films, one from Britain and one from suspicion that greets him simply try to make your way up the social Argentina, both of which respond to because he is black. As he moves ladder. and not be just some nigger. the Falklands crisis by re-examining through a decaying inner city but a person who is intelligent and the tensions in their separate landscape of police racism, underage articulate. as soon as nationality societies, which the period of drug abuse. yuppie heroin dealers. becomes involved you become a turbulence brought into clearer and the demeaning poverty faced by second-class citizen ifyou don‘t hold focus. his disabled army buddy. the loss of a British passport. I wanted to bring The first ever British-Argentinian his citizenship due to the 1981 British to the film all the resentment you feel co-production is Miguel Pereira‘s Nationality Act (St Lucian ifyou want to be British but the law debut feature Veronico Cruz. a independence meaning a St Lucian quite simply prevents you.’ deeply felt film based on the true rather than a British passport) drives While it is no doubt dominated by story of a peasant boy whose him to the point of anger and by liberal novelist David Morrell education inspired him to join the frustration where he considers (but ofcourse Wholly identified with navy during his national service. and joining his neighbours in armed the hawkish persona ofSylvester ultimately led to his death on the uprising. Stallone) thus have their similarities. flagship General Belgrano. It’s a As Worrell explains. ‘the starting not least because they join De Niro‘s moving account which seeks to bring point for us was the idea of a black TraViS Bickle in seeking a solution to home the toll taken on the man in uniform‘. Stellman, who here their problems from behind the underdeveloped Juyjuy region in the makes his directorial debut after barrel ofa gun. Yet, perhaps even 1 north of the country by a war fought previously scripting Defence Of The this is only a more extreme ' ' on behalfof the more affluent south. Realm. goes on to point out how the indication of the kind ofdisillusion and the Buenos Aires power base of figure of the Falklands soldier was a faced by ex-servicemen Frederic one” and country the corrupt military Junta. route into the question of British March and Harold Russell (who history. The point that the 1647 Moreover. by looking at the effects racism: ‘The thing that was so actually did lose both hands in quotation from the footsoldier in the on a tiny rural community of the fascinating about the whole notion WWII) in William Wyler‘s 1946 New Model Army that you get totalitarian army rule, Pereita‘s film was the moral ambiguity that in a classic The Best Years OfOur Lives. before the opening titles is trying to also seeks to recall the gross human way goes beyond politics. Reuben is or the sort of loss of faith in national make. is that unless you have rights violations and thousands of a man who. although he was born in Values ofcomradeship that is eVinced “propriety in the kingdom“. unless disappearances that still remain the St Lucia, is culturally, and to all by the shaky. heavily ironic singing you have property that is. then it legacy of the bloody Galtieri regime. intents and purposes, British. Yet, 0f ‘GOd Bless America' that Climaxes doesn‘t matter a fuck whether you While Veronica Cruz is a welcome when he walks down the street the MiChael Cimino‘s The Deer Hunter. fought and nearlv died for your contribution to international abuse he meets tells him he somehow Yet, the run-down heart of country hecausciuttjmatch: nobodv's understanding, sure to make much can’t be British because he’s black; Cimino‘s depressed Pennsylvania gonna eat-cf ' ' more of an impact on the domestic even after he joins a crack regiment steel town, and to a certain extent front is Martin Stellman’s and is involved in killing for Britain, the bleak vistas of Pereira‘s Juyjuy. hard-hitting study ofpost-Falklands even after he‘s fought for his Queen both serve to underline the crucial Britain, For Queen And Country. and his country. That’s why we chose issue at the centre of For Queen And Starring Denzel Washington fresh the figure of the soldier. because it‘s Country‘s scene ofurban desolation. from his triumphant portrayal of at the cutting edge in terms of race, In Stellman’s eyes the recovery from Steve Biko in Richard in terms of loyalty and patriotism.” any major conflict marks the point Attenborough‘s Cry Freedom, the Although the film was inspired by where the economic and social film follows ex-soldier Reuben as he the case of Falklands veteran Irwin injustice ofpoverty is inflicted returns from nine years’ active Eversley an old friend of primarily upon the ordinary fighting BY service (including a fraught tour of Stellman‘s, who hit the headlines men and women who deserve a duty in Northern Ireland) to the because he handed his campaign better reward for their courage. As Set in the remote Juyjuy region of high-rise London housing estate that medals to the Home Office when he points out, it is always the northern Argentina. Veronico Cruz had been home to his teenage days of they demanded a £60 fee to register underclass who suffer: “The film tells the moving story of a young petty larceny before he enlisted. for British citizenship— many of the looks at what‘s happened to all Indian boy whose fascination with Director Stellman and co-writer details ofeveryday racism come working class men and women of all the ocean and seafaring eventually Trix Worrell then present the straight from the experience of black colours and creeds throughout leads him to join the navy and meet

10 The List 27 January 9 February