Former Royal Marine Examines 'Human Side Of War' In New Documentary

A former Royal Marine has filmed a new documentary about the recent war between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Emile Ghessen met soldiers who were part of the fight and spent time with families who have lost loved ones to the conflict over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

'45 Days, The Fight For A Nation' is told from the Armenian perspective and is set to be released in the spring.

Surprised by the content of the documentary, Emile said it was unlike any he had made before.

"[It] surprised me compared to my last two in the sense that I’ve seen more of the human side of the war, I’ve done three tours of Afghanistan, of Asia, of Iraq – war’s war.

"I’ve seen action all over the world, filming as well.

"The shooting of guns doesn’t really interest me; what interests me now is the human stories of the war."

Emile has done multiple tours of the Middle East with the Marines and spoke of the unique challenges presented in covering the conflict.

Emile Ghessen
Emile Ghessen filming in the region (Picture: 45 Days, The Fight For A Nation).

"I served in Afghanistan and Iraq, I’ve been to Syria, been to Iraq, been to the Ukraine and now here, and what’s different to all of that was the people I was with didn’t control their airspace.

"You're always on alert because you're hearing that noise, that drone.

"The psychological impact that had on even me, for example, is like 'wow we need to get into cover now because we can hear it coming.'"

Mr Ghessen explained how deep the roots of this war ran for those directly affected, with many of the volunteers having very little combat experience. 

"We’ve got grandmas [whose] husbands and their sons fought in the last war, now their grandsons are fighting in this war.

"It is a massive, really, generational war. [The] Armenians, they wanted to continue fighting, they didn’t want the government to sign this peace deal, they wanted to fight to the bitter end.

Martial law was declared so a lot of volunteers went to join the army.

"So, it's not just professional soldiers or guys doing their two-year national service. There were a lot of civilians that were put in uniform and off they went."

The documentary, 45 Days, The Fight For A Nation, is due to be released later this year.

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