First-Person War on Film

Warfare is now filmed by participants and observers with an intimacy and immediacy never before possible.


Soldiers, journalists, and civilians in the Iraq War, Afghan War, Syrian Civil War, and other current conflicts are able to use micro digital cameras mounted on their helmets, smart phones, and rooftops to observe violence. Video clips can then be quickly uploaded to YouTube and other media distribution and exchange websites, where a video has the potential to go viral.

The perspectives offered by first-hand participant-observers can be fascinating, but risk offering completely decontextualized episodes of violence that offer the thrill of first-person shooter video games, but little of the “reality” of warfare.

The Washington Post reports on first-person video shot by U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

Students in HIST 390 History and Film: War on Film will be interested in this piece.

This entry was posted in Civil Conflict, Historical Film, History of Violence, Strategy and International Politics, War in Film, War, Culture, and Society. Bookmark the permalink.

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