How important is realism in constructing the narrative of Steven Spielberg's Band of Brothers?
The television series Band of Brothers is the story of Easy Company of the US Army Airborne Paratrooper Division and their mission in WW II France during Operation Overload. Like any other war/anti war series, it represents the horror and heartbreak of war. Common generic conventions of war series are POW camp experiences, submarine warfare, espionage, heroism, air dog fights, tough trench/infantry experiences, and in the majority of episodes of the ten hour series, they represent one of more of these elements.
The iconography of Band Of Brothers such as the wartime music, 1940s clothes and uniform, German and American tanks and war time weapons, the majority being originals dating back to 1939, all reinforce the idea or realism and help associate it to the war genre. A number of war films are actually historical epics, authentic attempts to recreate the experience of war on screen, rather than pure war films. War films as a major film genre emerged after the outbreak of World War I. A number of films were produced to inspire anti-German feeling in the US-one of the first to portray the atrocities of the enemy was ˜The Battle Cry Of Peace' in 1915. War films are often used as ˜flag-waving' propaganda and represent ideological values such as national pride and to display the nobility of ones own forces while harshly displaying the criticizing the villainy of the enemy, especially during war or in post war periods.
This type of propaganda is easily noticed in ˜Band Of Brothers' as the main characters truly portray brotherhood. But this type of brotherhood and brotherly bonding is also seen in many of Spielberg's films, most recently produced being Saving Private Ryan. Saving Private Ryan was produced in 1998 and is based on the story that a soldier by the name of Private Ryan who has to be saved due to his three brothers dying