MovieChat Forums > A Very Long Engagement (2004) Discussion > why did most of the soldiers wound thems...

why did most of the soldiers wound themselves?


i dont speak french but i watched the beginning of the movie with english subtitles. most of the soldiers wounded their own hands. i didnt quite catch why they would do that to themselves? does anybody know?

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Because they want to find a way to escape from the atrocities of the frontline, and rest a few days or weeks at the hospital. The daily life in the tranchées was really awful. Not "most" of the soldiers, but "some" soldiers did this, or tried. In the movie, I think they are 5, among hundreds of soldiers.

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they didn't want to die in the war but were drafted. By becoming injured they thought they could be dismissed.

Did you ever notice that people who believe in creationism look really un-evolved? - Bill Hicks

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The novel this is based on was inspired by true events during the First World War. The characters are fictitious, but there were five soldiers executed for wounding themselves while on the front line. Kubrick's movie Paths of Glory was also inspired by the same events.

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I don't recall any instances of self induced injuries in 'Paths of Glory'. The soldiers who are tried and executed were charged with cowardice for withdrawing from the field under withering enemy fire.

let's go and say a prayer for a boy who couldn't run as fast as I could

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Maybe Goatboy is referring to the part in the trial where one of the judges suggests Paris' head wound was self inflicted.




Hitler! C'mon, I'll buy you a glass of lemonade.

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By damaging their right hand they were unable to fire a weapon and could no longer be used at the front line.

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