Black Hawk Down

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Name: Black Hawk Down
Abbreviation(s): BHD
Creator: Ridley Scott, et al.
Date(s): 2001
Medium: film
Country of Origin: USA
External Links:
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Based on real-life events and the book of the same name by Mark Bowden, the film Black Hawk Down relates the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu, in Somalia, which resulted in the deaths of 13 United States servicemen and others from the joint peacekeeping force. The event was notable to Americans through seeing the graphic images of dead US troops being dragged through the streets.

The film and book focus on a few key figures over the three-day battle, including special forces Delta Force operators, Army Rangers of various rank, Combat Search and Rescue teams (CSAR, a division of the Air Force), and the Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR, aka Night Stalkers), who operated the Black Hawk helicopters.

Black Hawk Down Fandom

As in Band Of Brothers fandom, fans in Black Hawk Down fandom treat all characters as fictionalized, and politely ignore the lives of the real people the movie characters are based on. The fandom for Black Hawk Down is entirely focused on slash. It comes from the homosocial nature of military life and the intense pressures of war: the captivating aspects of these fandoms that generate dramatic, and fiercely sexual, fanworks.

The main activity of the fandom was intense and short-lived. Many fans followed each other from other fandoms (such as The Lord of the Rings and Troy) in a fannish drift, and have since gone on to other fandoms, particularly military (and real-life experience depicted in literature) fandoms like Band of Brothers, Jarhead and Generation Kill.

The fandom work is largely third or fourth wave (see the Wave Theory), and beyond: the fanwork was created in reaction to other fans' comments on the source material, as well as their work. As a result, there are a few series in the fandom that draw heavily on the fans' views of the material, and create a world based on their version of the characters. The series are nearly an alternate universe and relate only to the original material in the characters' names and occupations.

What's more, the fans took delight in slashing as many variations of the characters as possible. This is due to the large cast of attractive actors who all worked dynamically together. Predominant pairings of the fandom are Randy/Gary and Hoot/Todd. The unique tendencies in slashing all characters in this fandom is evidenced by Hoot/Todd, as the characters Hoot and Todd in the movie did not say more than a few lines to each other and were almost never in the same scene, though the actors (Orlando Bloom and Eric Bana played brothers in Troy).

The LiveJournal communities for the fandom are:

Selected cast of the movie

Army Rangers

  • Sgt. Matt Eversmann, played by Josh Hartnett
  • PFC Todd Blackburn, played by Orlando Bloom
  • SFC Kurt 'Doc' Schmid, played by Hugh Dancy
  • John Grimes, played by Ewan McGregor
  • Sgt. Jeff Struecker, played by Brian Van Holt
  • Lt. Col. Danny McKnight, played by Tom Sizemore
  • Capt. Mike Steele, played by Jason Isaacs
  • Maj. Gen. William Garrison, played by Sam Shepard

160th SOAR pilots, aka Night Stalkers

  • CWO Mike Durant, played by Ron Eldard
  • CWO Cliff 'Elvis' Wolcott, played by Jeremy Piven

Delta operators, aka D-Boys

  • Norm 'Hoot' Gibson, played by Eric Bana
  • Jeff Sanderson, played by William Fichtner
  • SFC Randy Shughart, played by Johnny Strong
  • Master Sgt. Gary Gordon, played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Notable fanworks

A few fans stand out as being particularly prolific. They are: stewardess, whose BHD fics are largely unavailable until she posts them to her Archive of our Own account; perseph2hades, who now keeps a fic community at re_perseph; and heartofslash, who posts to justthefic and her personal website.