Things You Only Notice About The Fifth Element As An Adult

When Leeloo searches for war in the database to attempt to understand what it means, her screen flashes through a significant number of war photographs — primarily consisting of World War II tragedies. Most older kids would recognize some components of the images, especially those of Nazis and Hitler. Yet they may not realize that these are actual photos from the war.

One of the first images in the sequence is a photo from Yevgeny Khaldei, titled “Raising a Flag over the Reichstag.” The title is fairly self-explanatory for the image, which depicts the Red Flag over Reichstag — which is the German seat of government in Berlin. Photographer W. Eugene Smith’s photo of U.S. Avenger fighter bombers circling Saipan Island makes an appearance as well, and it has nothing to do with Captain America. 

There’s also Josef Koudelka’s photo depicting a Czech citizen on a tank, which the photographer took during the 1968 Prague Invasion. Other images include the USS Ticonderoga which, no, isn’t a Number 2 pencil, kids — it was a WWII aircraft carrier. Also included is a photo of Hitler leading the Nazis and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

So much real-world tragedy is difficult for fans who are watching the movie and already know about these dark periods of history. Now imagine someone learning about war for the first time and getting a hefty dose of these impactful photos all at once. It’s a lot. Kids have that same realization of just what this scene is when they’re old enough to understand its place in history.

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