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Rescue Dawn
Rescue Dawn In 1965, few people
  believed that the still-
  limited conflict in
  Viet Nam would turn into
  full scale war. One of
  the first signs of what
  lay ahead was America’s
  bombing of secret
  targets inside Laos...”

INSPIRED BY TRUE EVENTS, Rescue Dawn is the amazing story of one man's survival against over-whelming odds. Dieter Dengler, played by Christian Bale (Batman, The Machinist, Harsh Times), is a US Navy fighter pilot sent on his first mission a top secret air-raid of the jungles of Laos to take out enemy supply lines during the Vietnam War.

The airmen on the mission appear very upbeat, joking about massage parlours. But their bravado hides the very serious side of the conflict — as Dieter discovers for himself when an air ambush forces him to crash-land on unknown terrain and he is captured by the notoriously ruthless Pathet Lao soldiers.

Refusing to sign a paper condemning the "imperialistic aggression and the corrupt and debased political establishment of the United States
of America against innocent children and the peace-loving working classes", Dieter is surprisingly calm and firm in his resolution that he loves and supports America.

After a harrowing ordeal in which he is dragged behind an ox, hung upside down and submerged in water — "The living," he says, "have their sleepwalkers. And so do the dead" — he is marched barefoot to
a small Laotian prison camp where he meets two Americans already held captive for a mind-numbing two years along with three Thais and one Chinese (Y C To, played by Galen Yuen). Duane, played by Steve Zahn (Sahara, Shattered Glass), the barely-sane Gene (Jeremy Davies: Secretary, Dogville) and the others are nearly broken in spirit. While Duane's advice is to keep quiet to stay alive, Gene insists "Any day now they will release us."

With their feet put into stocks at night and their hands manacled, escape seems futile. But Dieter has some tricks up his sleeve — proving very resourceful when it comes to utilising old bullet shells to be fashioned into blades and nails into tools with which to unlock their chains.

When a Vietnamese woman inspects the prison camp and finds a piece of broken glass, Dieter assures her it is used for shaving and manages to coax a smile from her.

"The jungle is the prison" says Duane; but something inside Dieter refuses to give up — no matter how hard the others try to dissuade him — and he plans a last-ditch bid for freedom through the savagely-beautiful and dangerous jungles of South-East Asia.

Critically-acclaimed, Rescue Dawn is one of the most remarkable adventures in modern history, with a gripping climax. A stark epic of survival, Rescue Dawn reveals how Dieter Dengler relied on the most primal qualities of evasion, endurance, tenacity and courage to attempt to make his way back home. A great film.

The DVD is packed with special features, including an audio commen-tary by writer/director Werner Herzog and interviewer Norman Hill, five featurettes and seven deleted scenes. The atmospheric music is by Klaus Badelt and the striking panoramas are the work of Director of Photography Peter Zeitlinger. Don't miss your chance to experience
this thrilling and gripping true story.

From Pathé Distribution Ltd and Directed by the internationally-acclaimed Werner Herzog, Rescue Dawn was released on DVD on
7 April (2008) and is available to buy or rent. Running Time 125
minutes | Certificate 12 | Price £19.99 | Cat No P923501000.

Special Features

Audio commentary by director Werner Herzog and interviewer Norman Hill | The making of a true story: Unfinished Business — Telling Dieter's Story (4min 18secs) | Strength of Character (9 mins 15 secs) | War Stories (23 mins 51 secs) | What Would Dieter Do? (6mins 44 secs) | Sound of War (9 mins 18 secs) | Seven deleted scenes with optional commentary by director Werner Herzog and interviewer Norman Hill (5mins 36 secs 36 secs) | Stills Gallery | Theatrical Trailer.

Dieter Dengler was born in Germany in 1938 and died of ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) in 2001. The only other known survivor was Thai Pishidhi Indradat (his character was played by Abhijati Jusakul in Rescue Dawn) who was recaptured and later rescued. He now lives
in Bangkok.