Fine Arts

Liberty, Truth, and Virtue in War Films


This colloquium explored the problems of war and liberty and how these are treated in film. In particular, it explored the tension between the soldier’s duty to obey orders and the exercise of his own freedom, as well the ways in which the different accounts of truth and virtue in war films—especially as exemplified by the thoughts and behaviors of soldiers—contribute to our understanding of liberty and responsibility.


Conference Readings

Glory. Directed by Edward Zwick. Sony Pictures, 1989. DVD.

Paths of Glory. Directed by Stanley Kubrick. MGM, 1957. DVD.

The Thin Red Line. Directed by Terrence Malick. 20th Century Fox, 1999. DVD.

The Hurt Locker. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow. Summit Entertainment, 2009. DVD.

Rescue Dawn. Directed by Werner Herzog. Gibraltar Entertainment, 2006. DVD.

Little Dieter Needs to Fly. Directed by Werner Herzog. Filmproduktion, 1997. DVD.

Critchley, Simon. Things Merely Are. New York: Routledge, 2005.

Epictetus. The Handbook of Epictetus. Translated by Nicholas White. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1983.

Herzog, Werner. Herzog on Herzog. London: Faber and Faber, 1999.

Lars von Trier. "Vow of Chastity." Mart Weiss. (May 3, 2010).

O’Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1990.

Stockdale, James B. Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot. Stanford: Hoover Institution, 1995.