Tears of the Sun sends a clear and concise message to the world, urging everyone who represents good in this world to fight against evil. The film relays a life lesson on morality and expresses that no matter what happens, to stand up for what is right. The title is explained in the movie by one of Lt. Waters’ remarks. At the beginning of the movie, the African people are thanking him for helping them and he mumbles, “God has already left Africa. ” This dire proclamation highlights the theme of the movie – individuals must take action to support what is right even if they stand alone and consequences are severe.
The man vs. man conflict in the movie is between Lt. Waters and Dr. Lena Kendricks. Lt. Waters and his team set out to rescue Dr. Lena Kendricks, an American doctor, and also to extract the mission priest and two nuns. Lena refuses to leave without her people, and Lt. Waters knows that it is not possible to take all 70 refugees. He tricks her into believing that everyone can be saved, but when the helicopter arrives, the seals force Lena onboard leaving the refugees for dead. Lena also does not trust Lt. Waters with information as to why the group is being followed by the rebels.
She endangers the entire unit and jeopardizes the mission by not being honest. The two battle in their opinions but eventually see eye to eye. The man vs. self conflict represented in the movie is Lt. Waters’ struggle with his own actions. After leaving the refugees to die, they pass over the mission, which has already been attacked. The lieutenant has a change of heart and turns the helicopter around to go back for the refugees. He loads as many refugees into the helicopter as possible and decides to lead those remaining to the Cameroon boarder.
After setting out on their trek, they come across rebel soldiers torturing and destroying an entire village. Once again going against instructions, Lt. Waters orders his men to take down the rebels. Because he is in charge of his entire team, he is faced with the responsibility that comes with disregarding the orders from his commanding officer. He put his team at risk but must follow what he believes is best for the greater good of mankind. He questions what the rest of the squad thinks of his actions, but they all agree with his decision. His actions also represent another man vs. an conflict in the film by going against Captain Rhodes’ guidelines for the mission. Rhodes is not pleased with Lt. Waters decision to escort the refugees to safety and says that he has had to make an equally hard decision before and knew to obey is commands. As a whole, the U. S. Navy SEAL team is fighting against the rebel army in Africa. This represents a man vs. society conflict in the movie. The rebels are destroying Africa and killing anyone in their path in attempt to rule the country. They have no regard for what is right or wrong.
They are blinded by their ambition and hatred. The weak and innocent are their victims as they have been in countless civil wars past and present. The rebels are following the group in attempt to kill Arthur Azuka the surviving son of the deposed President. Arthur is the only remaining member of the royal bloodline, he is the only person left with a legitimate claim to rule Nigeria. This man vs. society conflict speaks to the senselessness of war and why societies must work to promote peace. Tears of the Sun, unfortunately is extremely relevant it today’s society.
Mass killings, genocide, suicidal bombers are only a few of the terms we hear on a daily basis. Whether it is in a remote region of Africa or in the war in Afghanistan, there are those who risk their lives everyday to do the right thing. Edmund Burke’s quote shown at the end of the movie, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” shows soldiers devotement to mankind. They try to make a difference to the multitudes of oppressed people caught in the middle of these conflicts they did not create.