Courage Under Fire

Courage is often measured by an individuals strength and ability to do something in spite of the obstacles they may face. It is not simply the ability to face danger or display great bravery but also about being able to confront and overcome difficulty, uncertainty or pain. In the film Courage Under Fire directed by Edward Zwick a number of characters are able to show exceptional courage - Nat Serling and Karen Walden especially when confronted with the physical dangers of war and the pressure from others of taking the easy way out both characters stand up for what they believe is right.

An important aspect of courage is being confident enough to act on what you know is right. Nat Serling is able to take responsibility for others when he orders his tanks to turn their lights on during the friendly fire even though it is against his training. Zwick incorporates continuous loud noises such as explosions and machine gun fire, editing and close up camera angles to create a sense of panic and distress as Serling realises the enemy has infiltrated amongst his tankers. The background noise of gun shots and explosions becomes distant as Serling realises it was Boylar's tank that was taken down as a result of them failing to turn their lights on and being mistaken for the enemy. This enables the audience to become apart of the action and almost empathetic to the soldiers as we see and hear what they are experiencing making the courage they hold more obvious and apparent. Serling takes responsibility for his men and admits that it was him that gave orders for fire to be shot at one of their own tanks, he overcomes his fear of what others may believe about they incident and is able to remain truthful about the event that took place.

Another example of courage is when people overcome challenges. Karen Walden comes face to face with the challenge of supporting and leading her crew when her helicopter is shot down by the Iraqis during battle. Walden's courage and inner...