Courage Under Fire
Director: Edward Zwick
Producers: John Davis, Joseph M. Singer, David
Screenwriter: Patrick Sheane Duncan
Cast: Meg Ryan, Denzel Washington, Lou Diamond
Phillips, Michael Moriarty, Matt Damon, Seth Gilliam, Bronson
Pinchot, Scott Glenn
MPAA Rating: R
Year of Release: 1996
Released on Video: 12/19/2000
Army Colonel Nathaniel Serling is racked by
guilt over a Gulf War incident in which he directed a tank
to destroy what later turned out to be another American tank.
An investigation excused him, but his guilt is driving him
to drink too much and to push away his wife and family. Meanwhile,
he’s charged with investigating a proposed Medal of
Honor award — the first to be given to a woman. But
as he proceeds with his investigation into the battlefield
conduct of the female helicopter Captain, he begins to suspect
that the story has been fabricated, possibly for political
purposes. Meanwhile, he comes under heavy pressure from the
White House to ignore his doubts.
Notice how Serling heals himself by daring
to face the truth about the Captain’s story and his
- Do you believe that you cannot let go
of your guilt? (By using the word “guilt” here,
I am referring to “feelings of guilt” that are
not based on being guilty of a serious misbehavior. You may
know the difference rationally, intuitively, or after you
have heard at least one well-meaning friend tell you: ”You
should not feel guilty about this.”
- Do you think Nathaniel Serling misperceives himself as being
- Do you remember a time in your life when you were able to
let go of feelings of guilt?
- Imagine how you would feel, if you were free of this guilt
- If this was possible and you don’t think Nathaniel
Serling is guilty, do you consider that you might have the
capacity to release your guilt now?
- How you would feel, if you were free of guilt?