What Is The Monuments Men Movie About

By Jaclyn Hurley

It is not often that a new film open that has an all star cast, a great storyline and wonderful locations. Yet the Monuments Men movie has managed to do all three. The iconic George Clooney is the driving force behind the entire project. Not only did he take the starring role, but also directed and co wrote the film.

The film is based on a book by Robert M. Edsel, which was based on facts. It was released on February 7, 2014 to some mixed reviews. Many critics feel that they producer tried to do too much. Condensing such a huge and interesting story into a feature film is never easy. However, it has received much praise for the excellent recreation of the era, with most scenes being shot in Europe providing much authenticity.

After the outbreak of the war Hitler's German war machine marched over much of Europe. Small countries like Belgium and Holland did not stand a chance and were occupied almost immediately. Even France proved no match for the massive forces that rumbled towards them and half of their territory became occupied. On Hitler's order officers began to seek out and loot valuable works of art including pictures, sculptures and much more.

Both the British and American governments were aware of the large scale looting and realized that something had to be done. It was becoming clear that the Allies were most likely going to be victorious, even if the end of the war was still years away. But what would that victory be worth if most of the art treasures of western civilization were lost for ever.

As it became increasingly clear that the allies were winning and ultimately Germany would be defeated the need to find the treasures became ever more intense. To add to the pressure Hitler had issued what is known as the Nero decree. This stated that on his death or the fall of the Reich, all art treasures in German possession were to be destroyed. Knowing this the allied teams were working against the clock.

Despite its attempts at humor the film does an outstanding job of highlighting one of the forgotten aspects of war. The collateral damage suffered by nations and their innocent people. There are frequent reminders of the absolute devastation suffered by much of Europe at this time and the enormous scale of human suffering.

The film does an excellent job of shedding light on a typically forgotten aspect of the war. It is based on true events and characters. It also shows younger audiences that art and history do matter. The poignant ending is very well done and leaves the audience with plenty of food for thought.

Not only is the film very well made it also has an excellent story line. Some reviewers have commented that by trying to move in too many directions it can be a little hard to follow. Yet the message is very powerful, people are more that their nationality. Wars can never be fought without causing massive damage to so many innocent victims. Viewers will be left with the knowledge that art is a central part of our society and should be protected and preserved for all to enjoy.

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