'Lone Survivor' - when Hollywood gets in the way of the truth
In Lone Survivor, there is an intense argument about what to do with the Afghanis on the hill. The four Marines run into some goatherds. They take them hostage, tie them up and then have to decide whether or not to kill them.
Ethically, and by the Geneva Conventions, soldiers are not supposed to kill noncombatants. Yet, to release the three goatherds would result in the goatherds telling the Taliban where the Marines were. Too not release them would mean their death due to exposure or wild animals. That is where the argument occurs.
However, according to the only person who survived the ordeal. That argument never happened. All four men were immediately on board with the idea that they had to let these goatherds go in spite of knowing the very real and dire consequences.
The director’s excuse was that the audience had to understand what was at stake in order for the movie to have any impact.
Rather than having an argument about whether or not to kill the goatherds, the script could have been written to have the men have a discussion about the consequences of letting the goatherds go and what they needed to do to survive.
It might have been a little less intense for that discussion, but it would have enhanced the feelings of pride to know that the soldiers in the U.S. Marine Corps are ready to do what is right in that instance regardless of personal consequences.
The truth should be more powerful than the lie, and in this case, it would have been. Better yet, it would have enhanced the reputation of every Marine involved in the incident.