23 January 2001 | Jim Bob-3
Excellent docu-drama on civilians resisting wartime recruitment.
This documentary-style drama shows us the determination of a civilian population to end wartime conscription by a former ally. The Nazi army tries by terror to force the Italian people to join them as they struggle on against the advance of the Allied forces in WWII Italy. Citizens decide against fighting the war any longer, and rally themselves to drive out the German soldiers from their city and their lives in only four days.
I watched this film in basic training camp in 1963. I did not know at the time if I was being ordered to Southeast Asia to participate in the war there or not. I had had a vision on the firing range that an active combat role in Viet Nam would be more terrible than I could ultimately live with in later years. Fortunately, I was sent to the staging area on Okinawa, and not to Viet Nam. I saw the film again when I reached Okinawa, and became aware of the war a thousand miles away.
The film crystalized for me that mankind could choose not to fight wars to settle disputes between countries, and that passionate citizens could resist the most disciplined of armies. The Neopolitan people's example to me from twenty years before, as I stood at the brink of the Southeast Asian war, spoke deeply to me of what humanity must strive to achieve through the advancement of its behavior and character.
I long to see the film again, or to read the source book, as world events swirl around us, echoing themes in the Four Days of Naples.