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Armadillo (2011)

Janus Metz Pedersen , Janus Metz Pedersen  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

List Price: $29.95
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Armadillo + Restrepo
Price for both: $26.80

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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.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Lorber Films
  • DVD Release Date: October 18, 2011
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005E09TGW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,402 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews


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

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Daring Danish war documentary with "Restrepo" parallels October 11, 2011
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Eloquent Depiction of Combat Stress December 14, 2011
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars review: Restrepo and Armadillo compared September 8, 2011
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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I'm someone who has not served in the military but I appreciate the sacrifice that soldiers go through. Be it physically or more often mentally the things they have to overcome wins my respect and admiration.

I personally enjoy subtitles and use them even them shows where they speak English. But it was a very interesting seeing Dutch forces in action in the Afghanistan theater of war.

If you're somebody who enjoys miniseries like Band of Brothers, The Pacific or Generation Kill and you haven't ventured into the modern military documentary arena I recommend you do.

Thanks for reading!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Well thought out and directed
"Armadillo" is the documentary story of a unit of Danish trooped who are deployed on a six month tour of Afghanistan guessed it, a firebase called: Armadillo. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jonathan Weller
5.0 out of 5 stars ARMADILLO, a window to war.
If you are a follower of the subject, there is nothing to dislike about this documentary. Young Danish soldiers, men
who should have their whole life ahead of them, face... Read more
Published 6 months ago by M. Wilkinson
5.0 out of 5 stars TIL VALHAL!
VIKINGS ARE STILL WALKING AMONG US! Fantastic doc with amazing footage and interviews. A must see if you liked Restrepo or Marjah. These Danes are no joke.
Published 9 months ago by MetalMania
4.0 out of 5 stars Young Soldiers In Afghanistan
"Armadillo" The documentary follows a group of Danish soldiers stationed at ISAF (International Security Assistance Force)'s Forward Operating Base "Armadillo" in Afghanistan,... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Tsuyoshi
1.0 out of 5 stars Skipped
It does not play. When I tried to watch it, the DVD skipped, stopped, and no sound was heard. There was a huge scratch down the middle.
Published 16 months ago by Nutrition Advocate
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Wish it was a little longer though
A great, powerful, and un-biased documentary depicting Danish soldiers at a Forward Operating Base in Afghanistan. Read more
Published 16 months ago by 18thstreetstyle
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and real.
I never served in Afghanistan or Iraq, but a friend of mine did and we thought the realism of the film was really good.
Published 22 months ago by Stephen M. Murphy
4.0 out of 5 stars The must to see
A doco-movie is of a Denmark's participation in the Afghan anti-terror war.

A picture of a mortally-dangerous military routine at a base "Armadillo" is explicit as... Read more
Published on April 18, 2012 by Michael Kerjman
5.0 out of 5 stars Parallels
This Danish military in Afghanistan documentary did not shy away from showing what we don't want to see. Read more
Published on January 14, 2012 by G. Teslovich
4.0 out of 5 stars Good documentray.
Has subtitles. This documentary is well done. A few friends have taken the time to watch it, they also stated that they enjoyed it.
Published on December 22, 2011 by Matt
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