13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi ~ A Capsule Movie Review by Allen Kopp
If you follow the news at all, you will have heard about the terrorist attack on the American embassy in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012, that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including ambassador Christopher Stevens. Benghazi was known to be one of the most dangerous and volatile places in the world, but still the United States continued to operate its embassy there, with dozens of employees in residence. When the terrorist attack occurred, the people on the ground were unprepared. When they repeatedly asked for help from American forces, they were denied (for whatever reason, political or otherwise). The attack could have (and should have) been prevented. The people “in charge” weren’t paying attention, underestimated the threat, or were preoccupied with partying or fundraising for their upcoming political races. To make matters worse, certain politicians lied in the aftermath of the attack in an attempt to cover their own asses. Yes, we know from this and other events that the people in charge of this country routinely lie to us for their own political expediency.
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is about the six military men who, despite orders to “stand down,” risked their lives to face the terrorists on their own and take control of the situation, without any outside help. There’s no political statement here, no political right or wrong, just a straightforward account of what happened, told entirely from the point of view of the Americans, especially one young American named Jack Silva, who wants to make it back home to his family but knows full well that he may die in a country “he doesn’t care about.” In this movie, we don’t find out anything about the terrorists or even see their faces. All we are told in the beginning is that Libya is a dangerous and crazy place and Americans have no business being there. The ones who are there certainly aren’t on a lark but are there with a sincere desire to help.
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is not exactly entertaining in the traditional sense but is well worth seeing so we may know what people oversees in dangerous places go through to protect lives and the interests of their country. The amazing thing about this movie is that it feels so authentic, with an absolute sense of immediacy, even though it was filmed in Malta and not in Benghazi. If moviemakers can make us believe that Malta is Benghazi, they could make us believe almost anything.
Copyright © 2016 by Allen Kopp