Images – 1995


Brad Pitt television actor. Brad Pitt protagonist of the war odyssey “Contact”. Brad Pitt far from his usual works. Brad Pitt without giving little kisses. In a word, Brad Pitt as he is, placed in a war, lost in the desert and fighting for the only thing that counts after all in extreme situations: survival, Is this film that is never talked about, something he wants to hide… like most actors do.

Five years ago, the world had its latest official convulsion, the Gulf War. Remember? Mr. Sadam Hussein, dictator of Iraq, was going to spend one weekend in Kuwait, but instead of bringing a basket with lunch along he brought some tanks. The Kuwaitis did not appreciate Mr. Hussein as a permanent guest by force; so they called the “free world” for help. If Kuwait had only had harvests of sunflowers or a salt production, the “free world” would have told them that this was not their thing. But since all what Kuwait has is oil, and lots of it, and this thing is scarce everywhere, they sent a full-size army to deal with Saddam Hussein! This was, from what we could see, the first technological war of the Modern Age. If Vietnam’s war was followed on TV, this one was seen directly because all the missiles, bombs and bullets had a built-in TV camera. We could almost see the faces of the people as they exploded on top them.

Well, sarcasms aside, it is true that the war gave origin to many stories, tons of them, and some of them became book and others became this: a movie. The first one of ten had Rob Lowe as the lead. But the one we rescued here had Brad Pitt, who finally answered some questions that we asked him so that he would explain this matter.

“At that time history interested me, but I would rather not remember much of those times – reveals Brad. I was not only the protagonist of the film, which is always interesting, but saw in it a true story to tell. I became involved with the subject since the first moment and I tried to remain true to it, not caring whether I was playing the scenes well or not, neither about how it would play in an actor’s career with a good image. Now I am playing a vampire in “Interview with the Vampire” or a violent cop. Soldier Cox’s epopee is a brutal consequence of the speed at which we move them, because Cox was one day very calm at home and the following day he was mobilized to the desert in the middle of a war, and next he was lost in the sand without any chances of survival.”

The epopee that Brad narrates happened during the first days of the battle, in full “storm in the desert”, the code name of the Gulf War, a simple soldier by the name of Cox, who is neither a general nor a colonel, gets separated from his buddies in action and is therefore completely alone in the middle of the desert’s burning hot sands. All that remains for him is death, because by day the temperature is hot as hell and by night cold as ice. He couldn’t even contact his fellow soldiers because the radio got damaged a few hours later. Facing his fate, the last thing that Cox could expect was to meet unexpectedly one Iraqi soldier, his enemy. The thing is that when he stumbles into Mohannan everything changes for them.

– It is the most intense part of the film – continues Brad -. Cox is alone and knows that he is going to die, but he stumbles into Mohannan and he cannot forget that he is a soldier. Thus, he wants to kill his enemy, his enemy wants to kill him. The two finally realize that it is nonsense, because if they fight, both of them will die but working together they have the possibility of surviving. Thus they collaborate, but they do not trust each other. The idea is that in the end they will have to fight and to try to eliminate the adversary. Of this forced union a series of vicissitudes are the key of the film, together with the wish to survive comes from the idea that both of them have to survive. If they end up on the side of the Iraqis Cox will end badly. If they end up on the side of the allied forces, the one that will end badly is Mohannan. Thus the film is based on this fact: two men who need one the other but that hate each other, because fate put them together and the desert is a judge you can’t appeal to.

– The star of “Contact” said that now, since the very next the conflict to the Gulf is closer, the Americans are eager to see the real things that happened in those days. Now Brad is again appearing on posters and his success is still bigger, Brad Pitt is already a star and made therefore unexpected advertising for the film. But for Brad this continues to be one of those works that remain hidden and the kind he does not like to talk on a professional level, even if on a personal level things are different, because this experience left a mark.

This film allowed me to do a great internal work, and I find that it was the first film that I played as a serious actor. I was not a pretty face, but a soldier, dirty, depleted, with fear, facing himself and the desert, the fear and the enemy. For me the story has a great value even more if we take in consideration that it really happened. At the end a light is seen: above all we are human beings and we need one another.

Let us hope that in Portugal they do not show it hidden in the middle of the night and that our dear TV channels inform us about it in time, so that we are able to see Brad Pitt in full action.