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30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

ARMADILLO is a raw and unforgettable journey into the war in Afghanistan. Mads and Daniel are Danish troops joining the NATO mission in Helmand Province. Their platoon is stationed in Camp Armadillo, with Taliban fighters a stone's throw away. Filmmaker Janus Metz is deeply embedded with the platoon, documenting first-hand the daily grind of modern warfare, tense waiting followed by intense flurries of bloodshed. During gunfights his camera is right at the front line, recording the mortal dangers the troops face daily. Unable to tell Afghan civilians apart from combatants, the platoon's skepticism of the humanitarian effort grows, as well as their yearning for the black and white morality of battle. Ethical lines are blurred, and a sense of besieged paranoia sets in to their warrior mentality. ARMADILLO is a harrowing journey into the minds of soldiers during a war without end.


GUT PUNCHING... Reveals both the horror and adrenaline rush of warfare. --The Village Voice

An astonishing leap forward for non-fiction storytelling. --The New York Times

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Janus Metz Pedersen
  • Directors: Janus Metz Pedersen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: Danish, English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Lorber Films
  • DVD Release Date: October 18, 2011
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005E09TGW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,430 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By polymath on October 11, 2011
Format: DVD
I didn't go see "Armadillo" in the theaters. I didn't even rent the DVD. In fact, I had never heard of it until a few weeks ago when I came across it on IFC while channel surfing. The description looked interesting, and since the opening credits were still rolling I decided to give it a try. It turns out that I made a pretty good decision.

This film documents the six-month tour of a Danish military unit at Camp Armadillo, a forward operating base in southern Afghanistan. Much like "Restrepo" it was filmed by embedded journalists, took place around the same timeframe and in the same country (though on the opposite side), included pre- and post-tour footage from the soldiers' respective home countries, and features a small team of Allied forces engaging the Taliban.

I'm a big fan of historical films and war epics, and have seen a fair amount of movies and documentaries about global events, conflict, armed forces and government intelligence. As an American, I love a good civil war story, WWII drama and CIA thriller. But I also like to explore foreign films of the same genres -- to see what these topics/events/stories are like in other cultures. Sure, we might get an occasional glimpse at an ally country (James Bond movies) or opposition/enemy ("Valkyrie" / "U-571" / "Hunt for Red October"), but these typically only give us superficial perspectives. So one of the things I really enjoyed about "Armadillo" is that it provides a unique, raw, behind-the-scenes look at what wartime military life is like in another country (Denmark) -- from how the families cope with the fear & anxiety of having loved ones in harm's way, to how their troops react in combat.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Cynical Critic on December 14, 2011
Format: DVD
So I was surfing IFC and found Armadillo. Watched it. If you have ever been in contact this documentary will allow you to revisit the sound of bullets passing your head. In one contact, they are so close you can hear the Taliban shouting. In another, a classic trench assault w/ hand grenade is used.

More importantly, it deals with the struggles on both sides. Civilians getting hurt by Taliban shoot and scoot from your compound tactics. Danes trying to patrol enough to push the Taliban north where the war won't impact the civilians as much. Taliban posing as civilians to get money to buy weapons, only to be killed by the very people who paid them. Danes watching their friends get hit with IEDs, getting shot and monotony.

Extremely delicate topics are discussed. The farmer who has his house bombed (right or not isn't presented), and replies "How should we know? Maybe it's our fault? What can we do?....". Platoon Commander Rasmus is hit by an IED and talks about the experience while recovering. The speech he gives to the platoon about the actions regarding the grenade / ditch contact; relating personal strength and ability to determine actions of an opponent responsible for wounding 3 of your friends, sitting with an AK under a log in a ditch, and the level of doubt required to make the decision to fire or expose yourself to an armed man was the most eloquent description of the thought process of a combat soldier witnessed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ironman96 VINE VOICE on May 25, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video
I found Armadillo to be a well done documentary of the Danish contribution to the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan. For the most part, it was fair and was not biased either pro or anti-war. The film does a good job of realistically portraying what service in Afghanistan is like. The filmmaker does take some liberties in editing and filmography which make it seem slightly less like a documentary and more like a fictional film. However, that was not a problem for me, and it was easy to tell it was all too real. As both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were American-led, it was actually nice for a change to see what part other participants are playing such as the Danish. This is the type of film not appropriate for all audiences as it is gritty, violent and profane.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By G. Heath on September 8, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
The Anglo-American military involvement in Afghanistan has now dragged on for ten years, and sadly a lot of British and American soldiers have been killed, and that's not to mention the Afghans who have had it worse for longer. I bought and watched the documentaries Restrepo and Armadillo out of respect for the documentary makers who risked their lives to make these films, and to see what I could learn about this intractable conflict from watching them...

Restrepo is a truly brilliant documentary. The first thing to say about it is that it was made in co-operation with National Geographic, and was therefore politically constrained from the start. That's why there is no overt or explicit critique of US policy in the film, and little context-setting. Instead, the film makers rather cunningly went for realism, which becomes it's own critique. One scene after another makes you realise the total futility of trying to control and dominate a place like the Korengal Valley militarily. This documentary is really stunning, and could not get more real. The opening sequence, where the vehicle the cameraman is driving in hits an IED, is as shocking as anything else, perhaps the most shocking sequence. But there's plenty more action--the American soldiers come under fire almost every day, and when things are quiet they go out looking for a fight. The reviewer SCM rightly comments on the naivete of the American captain who attempts, but fails, to win the hearts and minds of the locals, who are after all the Taliban, or Taliban supporters. The brilliance of this documentary lay in the de-briefing interviews. In one of these interviews a soldier reflects on the bungled attempt to curry favour with the locals, "...
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