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Black Hawk Down: Fact, Fiction, and Perception
By Darrin Devito

The movie Black Hawk Down, like many well-received films based on true events, unquestionably both shaped and defined the American public’s perception of the conflict in Somalia. The movie’s portrayal of the Battle of Mogadishu focuses primarily on the fighting itself, the climax of a resistance effort against a U.N. peacekeeping force sent to “establish a secure environment for humanitarian relief operations in Somalia” (“Somalia --UNOSOM II”). The humanitarian and military efforts in Somalia were more than just a failed excursion into the city of Mogadishu, however: the battle was a clash of radically differing ideologies, a testament to the cultural rifts between Somalia and America, and a defining moment in...
American Intervention in Somalia
By Franklin Rosenberg

While Black Hawk Down does a relatively good job of portraying the American-Somali battle on October 3, 1993, its focus on the American side of the conflict means that some aspects of the conflict, particularly on the Somali side, are not explored. Since the movie only focuses on the Battle of Mogadishu, the events leading up to the Battle of Mogadishu, the events after the battle, and the repercussions of American intervention in Somalia, are either glossed over in “text cards” at the beginning and end of the movie or simply omitted. Additionally, the issue of America’s moral responsibility and its right to interfere with a sovereign nation’s affairs is looked at briefly in the movie, while it was a sweeping and...