Socialist Worker

Wounded: Soldiers that the army would rather you didn’t see

by Ruth Lorimer
Issue No. 2169

Wounded shows devastation of war

Wounded shows devastation of war


This harrowing documentary follows two British soldiers who have been horrifically injured while fighting in Afghanistan.

Both have lost their legs, while one has lost most of his sight, and the other has lost his left arm.

The fly on the wall style film shows their frustration and the different ways they react to the slow progress they make while learning to walk on prosthetic legs.

One, Tom, seems unfazed by losing three limbs and puts all his effort into getting physically fit – but doctors worry that he has not yet “crashed” mentally and is not dealing with the situation.

The other, Andy, seems close to giving up altogether when he is told that he might not regain his sight.

An army psychologist explains that refusing to cooperate with the medical staff is a normal reaction – a small way in which the patient can try to regain a little control over their own life.

The film does not go into the rights and wrongs of the war, but Afghanistan casts a shadow over the whole film.

A brother of one of the injured wishes he knew who to blame. He talks about “the people that did it, the Taliban I suppose” with little conviction.

His mother seems resigned to the injustice, saying she was glad when he joined the army as it would keep him out of trouble.

Both men featured were under 20 when they were injured, and on their first tour of duty.

What comes across most strongly is the terrible waste of life that is the war in Afghanistan.

Wounded
BBC One
Wednesday 23 September, 9pm


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Reviews
Tue 15 Sep 2009, 19:34 BST
Issue No. 2169
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