Afghanistan war doc sparks debate

'Armadillo' screened in Critics Week sidebar

CANNES -- "Armadillo," Janus Metz's Critics Week documentary about Danish soldiers in Afghanistan, has set off a firestorm of political debate in its home country, with the Danish defense minister being called to explain the allegations raised by the film.

Denmark's talk-show and pundit circuit lit up after an "Armadillo" screening in Copenhagen for politicians and journalists Monday. While Denmark's extreme right wing parties are hailing the film as a heroic depiction of their boys in battle, forces on the left are using it to strengthen their argument for a pull out of Danish troops from the region.

Speaking to THR in Cannes, Metz said that the film "doesn't push a political message down anyone's throat" he hoped it would be a "bomb that would set off debate on the issue of the war."

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That already seems to be happening. The Danish army, which screened "Armadillo" for security reasons before its Cannes premiere, is commissioning an official inquiry into the behavior of the soldiers in the film. In one scene, the soldiers repeatedly empty their weapons into Afghans they have just killed.