Monuments Men

962 words 4 pages
AP US History/Literature
17 March 2014
Extra Credit Opportunity: Historical Film
The Monuments Men

Based on a true story of what was a “treasure hunt” in its most basic definition, The Monuments Men portrays a hand selected World War II platoon on a mission that sends them to all edges of Western Europe in order to retrieve artistic masterpieces stolen by the Nazis and return them to their original owners. This special force of American and British museum curators, directors, art historians, and others scoured Europe for these stolen pieces of art while often unnarmed and behind enemy lines. All the while, attempting to prevent the destruction of over 1000 years of global culture.
Before I watched the film, I vaguely knew about
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The filmmakers did not overly change the original storyline in the book but still left things out, as many movies do. For example, there were 345 real life ‘monuments men’ but the film executives chose to portray only 6. As mentioned above, filmmakers chose not to portray the daily lives of soldiers or villagers during wartime and those people could feel “left out”. However, they were not vital to the film and its storyline as “The Monuments Men” never saw real combat, therefore they had little interaction with real soldiers. Also, unless they were retrieving art from a home, they had no relationship with any commoners or villagers across Western Europe.
Melik Kaylan wrote The Monuments Men Are Still at It for The Wall Street Journal in February. He writes in support of the U.S. military’s efforts in World War II and in current wars. In this article specifically, Kaylan raises the point that the looting (of important works) is still very much so happening. He discusses how the U.S. was criticized for intervening in the retrieval of the works during World War II but blamed for essentially overlooking the looting of the Iraq Museum. This film subtly shows this controversy distinguishing right and wrong with its depiction of how hard it was to gain approval for the specific platoon at the beginning and then notifying the public about their findings/theories at


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