BY CHRISTOPHER STAMM
GUEST MOVIE REVIEWER
Devotion (Now showing in theatres)
This film is rated PG-13 – for action and peril
On June 25, 1950, the Communist North Korean Army surged across the 38th parallel, starting what is now known as the Korean War. It is also referred to as “America’s Forgotten War.”
I know about this war through my studies and the fact that a 21-year-old shoe factory employee from Southern Ohio was drafted and chose to enlist in the newly formed United States Air Force and served in Korea with the 38th Fighter Bomber Group. That young man was my father, Paul Stamm.
My father mentioned more than once in his life, with bitterness, that America had forgotten the 40,000 men who gave their lives in that war.
So with that long preamble, I get to the point. I was very excited to see Devotion this weekend. Films about the Korean War are few and very far between, so I went to the cinema with high hopes. I say all this because I was disappointed with this film, and I want to be clear that I suspect my disappointment stems from the film not really being about the Korean War, but rather the film makers using it as a backdrop for the story about friendship and the racism that members of the service who were of color faced during that time.
Devotion is not a bad film, just not what I was expecting. While some of the story does take place during the Korean War, the vast majority is about the relationship between two pilots–wingmen to the end–who form a friendship that has lasted through their families to this day.
Devotion is well worth seeing. Just be aware that the trailers present it as a film about the Korean War, but the reality is that it’s a film about friendship and racism.
The only other complaint I have is that it’s a tad overlong at two hours nineteen minutes. But overall I give it three out of five stars–two for the story and the performances, and one for the beautifully shot flying sequences.