Flags of Our Fathers is a 2006 American war film directed, co-produced, and scored by Clint Eastwood and written by William Broyles Jr. and Paul Haggis. It is based on the 2000 book of the same name written by James Bradley and Ron Powers about the 1945 Battle of Iwo Jima, the five Marines and one Navy corpsman who were involved in raising the flag on Iwo Jima, and the aftereffects of that event on their lives.

The film opens with interlocking scenes from past and present, showing the battle underway and being remembered, with voice-overs from survivors. In February 1945, one of the fiercest battles of the Pacific theater of World War II occurs on the tiny island of Iwo Jima.

The American Government’s war chest was empty because the American people didn’t have faith that they could win, so they stopped buying war bonds. So a campaign was launched using the photo of the flag-raising at Iwo Jima. Now the three surviving men in the picture, John “Doc” Bradley (Ryan Phillippe), Rene Gagnon (Jesse Bradford), and Ira Hayes (Adam Beach) are brought back to the U.S. for the bond drive.

A photo of U.S. servicemen raising the flag on Mount Suribachi becomes an iconic symbol of victory to a war-weary nation. The individuals themselves become heroes, though not all survive the war and realize it. Each of the three must come to terms with the honors, exploitation, and grief that they face simply for being in a photograph.

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