Rosso Fango

As I promised yesterday, here’s the second of two short movies from the Sundance Film Festival.  This one describes an unlikely encounter in a shellhole during World War I – but it’s based on fact;  an incident like this really happened.  ‘Rosso Fango’ is described as follows:

Lest we forget the old adage “War is Hell,” successful commercial director Paola Ameli brings us rushing directly into the maelstrom with highly stylized production value and bracing emotional intensity. Rosso Fango (translated to “Red Mud”) begins deep inside a mud hole in no man’s land during World War I. A British soldier is trapped inside with imminent danger around him. Scared and alone, he is running out of options. Suddenly, an enemy comes hurtling down upon him. Our man acts quickly and connects with his bayonet. But as the soldier begins to sputter and expire, our hero is faced with startlingly moral choice. Based on a frightening true story that you won’t believe until you see, Rosso Fango details the ways in which a simple act of compassion can alter the entire course of human history.

Here it is.

Makes you think, doesn’t it?



  1. Oof, that's a doozy. It brings to mind your earlier post on survivorship bias: how many despicable tyrants and great minds died alike in the grinder? We'll never know. Only the ones that made it out got their chance to influence history after the war.

  2. If you study history and learn about the number of times Hitler escaped death in WWI and in assassination attempts, it makes you wonder if there wasn't some sort of divine intervention that protected him.

  3. All down to a simple twist of fate. The late Hugo Chavez had a similar charmed life until the devil claimed his own.

  4. There certainly is a lot of artistic license added to that dramatized version of historical the events that took place.

  5. I usually avoid the 'what if' game; but I do recall one fascinating debate in one of my classes: 'What if Hitler hadn't lived?'
    Our consensus was that it was actually the better of the evils…
    Best as I can recall, we ended up arguing that: the Soviet Union would have gone to war on a single front with Western Europe and probably would have won (both Spain and France had strong communist leanings, while Germany came within a few votes of communism in the late 1920's).
    The internal division in Western Europe would have meant that the Asian Theater would be completely ignored for much longer, allowing Japan to get a much better hold on SE Asia. Especially, if the UK fell to the USSR, Australia and India would have been on their own. The USSR was well situated to take control of the Suez canal, if Central Europe was agreeable.
    The US would not have entered the war in Europe as quickly (lacking Hitler's declaration of war and due to the strong communist/isolationist stance held by many people at the time).
    The end result would have been a hot war between the US-USSR and proxies. Combined with a hot war between the USSR and Japan.
    We felt this probably wasn't such a wonderful idea since Stalin, after all, made Hitler look inefficient at killing…

  6. Ultimately, the question is (as the english soldier) can you live with the choice YOU make? The english soldier has no control over what the other man COULD go on to do later.

  7. This issue is so relevant to what we are currently facing. Everything is based on the past, the killing, the hunger, the dispossessions, the arrogance. Is it better to have an animal in the WH for another four years so he can piddle around with what he created in the first four, and give the country a chance to try and get through the mess, or should he have been defeated and leave the mess for someone else, with constant armchair quarterbacking from the Left, and then not get anything done?
    My Mennonite neighbor told me that God will take care of it. I am so impatient.

  8. A debate I've thought of having with my Sunday school class…but never did. In a WW1 shell crater, an Ally and a German find themselves, both armed with nothing but knives. Both are Christians…both are told "God is with us!". Which side will God be on? Yeah, it's a sort of trick question…at least to me. But should stimulate an interesting discussion.

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