Embattled Humanity

Looking Back at "The Bridge on the River Kwai"

"Madness!" cries the British doctor, Major Clipton, as he looks upon a scene of general death and destruction. "Madness!" His are the last words in The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957).Last, in that no words are spoken after his, but not last, as in definitive. For this great war movie that celebrates the heroism of the soldier, and this great anti-war movie that lays bare the tremendous waste of human life and labor that war involves, resists easy definition. I knew it already when I was a boy and watched it along with my father, who explained to me that the chief figure of the drama, Colonel Nicholson (Alec Guinness), the commanding officer of the British men who are prisoners at a Japanese camp in the jungles...

 

is a professor at Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts in Warner, New Hampshire, and the author of many books, including Life Under Compulsion (ISI Books), Real Music: A Guide to the Timeless Hymns of the Church (Tan, with a CD), Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture (Regnery), and The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord (Ignatius Press, 2019). He has also translated Dante's Divine Comedy (Random House). 

This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #61, Summer 2022 Copyright © 2022 Salvo | www.salvomag.com https://salvomag.com/article/salvo61/embattled-humanity

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