A Perfectly Devastating Film

By Adam Sarsfield

All Quiet on the Western Front is a  2022 adaptation of the critically acclaimed movie of the same name from 1930. The adaptation was directed by Edward Berger and stars Felix Kammerer, Albrecht Schuch, and Daniel Brühl. It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and had its showing rights quickly bought by Netflix. All Quiet on the Western Front was Germany’s nominated Academy Award for Best International Feature Film at the 95th Academy Awards. The movie’s premise follows a young german boy by the name of Paul Bäumer who was manipulated by WW1 propaganda to join the war with his friends. Expecting an easy campaign where Paul could become a war hero, Paul’s dreams are quickly shattered as he faces the brutal reality of war. Paul is thrown into life in the trenches before the movie moves swiftly past his first 18 months in the war with a time skip. After the skip, Paul and his friends are well-versed in life through the war and try to make it day-by-day while fighting what they know as a pointless war. Nearing the end of the war, the German and French governmental parties are shown attempting a peace treaty to end the ongoing conflict of WW1. However, the French are very keen on setting Germany with many demands to stop the war and it is shortly shown why they were as confident as they made their demands with the introduction of tanks to the warfare. Paul must do whatever it takes to survive this new threat and make it to the end of the Great War. Personally, watching the movie really showed me just how brutal this conflict among nations truly was. Some scenes show the absolute carnage that occurs in war and they are displayed perfectly. After making it halfway through the movie, I realized that our main character is truly just a victim of the propaganda that was plastered all over every country to join the war. He is not a hero who will make some major move to win the war; he is simply a man who joined one of the bloodiest conflicts in human history. The war is a perfectly directed anti-war movie that is able to visualize exactly why one should not join a war as there is no winner in war—only victims and survivors. All Quiet on the Western is an amazing movie and I would highly recommend watching it.