Syria in 1977. Ossama Mohammed’s film explores how in an oppressive society individuals are subjected to various stages of submission until they are prepared to accept violence. Images of everyday life in rural areas where education is minimal provide a portrait of young villagers. Theirs is a choice between a life of toil working the land as their parents have done, or that of a migrant labourer in the city. Trapped between religious and political ideologies and completely fascinated by authority, many of these young peasants choose the army.
WWI flyer Eddie Rickenbaker remembers his life which brought him from a car salesman, race driver and pilot in WWI, to an important person in the early years of civil airline service, after his plane crashed in the South Pacific in late 1942.
Patrick Perrault, a photo-journalist covering the war in Beirut in the late 1980s, is himself caught up in the hostilities when one day he is picked up and bundled into a car at gun-point. Blind-folded, he is taken to an unknown location where he discovers that he is being taken hostage by Lebanese guerrillas. Robbed of his passport, stripped and forced to change into a pair of damp pyjamas, he is locked up in a cell from which there is no escape. And he is told that if he takes of his blindfold to see his captors he will be shot dead immediately. So begins his long and brutal nightmare…
Straker a Vietnam vet with a chip on his shoulder since his wife and daughter were killed in a home invasion. He is then recruited to go back to Vietnam to rescue some POW/MIA’s, including one Commander, Harrison. Figuring he has nothing to lose, he accepts the mission.
A submarine commander is determined to use guided missiles on his sub in this war drama. To do so, he defies the edict of the navel bureaucracy and begins testing the prototypes. This results in personal injury and the death of a crewman. So guilty does the commander feel, that he begins to suffer a mental breakdown and becomes hysterically paralyzed.
Early in his naval career, Ken White is suddenly given command of his submarine, the USS Tiger Shark. To keep from being sunk, he orders a dive while the captain and another crewman are outside, and both are killed. White is promoted, but the events on the Tiger Shark continue to haunt him and also disrupt his marriage. Eventually, White takes a desk job. But when the Korean War flares up, White is called back to active duty and asked to lead the Tiger Shark once more.
If a man acts according to his human believes in the war times, the ruthless war machinery can easily swallow him down.
On the same day that he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary valor in the European campaign during World War II, Sergeant Joe Dusak is charged with desertion during combat by a military court. Also summoned to testify are Corporal Crocker, Corporal Quinn and Private Pope, the only surviving members of a patrol led by Dusak. The charges stem from a patrol into the Black Forest of Germany in which Dusak claims the patrol got lost. Sergeant William Hutchins testifies that he ran into Dusak’s patrol, and the men were laughing and not lost.