Perhaps no war in history serves as a better metaphor for senseless killing than World War I—ironically also known as the Great War. Fighting for a flag without a clear cause on both sides of the battlefield, men were torn between following violent orders on the one hand and survival on the other. The stalemate and utter madness of it all led to many stories of camaraderie between Triple Entente (French, British, and Russian) forces and soldiers of the Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy), almost invariably veiled over fears of getting charged with cowardice or treason.
Director Max Mason takes a hard but intimate look at these complexities in Their War, a superb short film with a keen sense of how far you can push soldiers into the pits of hell before they really fight, not against each other, but against the mission itself. For in the trenches of the Great War, deep down, most soldiers didn't want to kill their fellow man. They simply wanted to go home to their families with all limbs and faculties intact.