There are certain movies that are really good, despite being hard to watch. Set in Serbia in the mid 1990s, A Perfect Day follows a group of aid workers trying to do the right thing amidst a civil war and the peacekeeping efforts of the United Nations. While not specifically a true story, it is a real story.

The central dilemma is a human corpse that has been deliberately dropped into a well with the intent to poison a local water supply. A simple length of rope would solve the problem, but rope, it seems, is in short supply. That is, rope to use for removing a dead bodies from wells is unavailable. There is plenty of rope for other purposes—holding a flag on a pole to prove this guy didn’t surrender, for example.

The point of the film is to relay the odd mix of humor and humanity amidst the frustration of futile effort through a blended cast of characters. Benicio Del Toro plays the leader of the band. He is grizzled and jaded but maintains a sort of patience to endure the insanity and weird bureaucracy because he believes what he is doing is right. Tim Robbins is a different sort of experienced, having no sense of the insanity around him and becoming slightly insane himself. The audience has a relatable viewpoint through Mélanie Thierry, a French actress you’ve probably never heard of before who plays the well educated but naïve newcomer to the war.

The poisoned well is one of three, but the other two are known to be surrounded by mines. Landmines are a severe humanitarian crisis because of their use and abandonment near civilian populations. Though we never see one go off, they are a continuous secondary obstacle in A Perfect Day. The ubiquitous hidden explosives help shape the setting as an ever shifting landscape of problems. The film is humanity learning to live within such a place.

People who have spent some time in conflict areas, dealing with international coalitions, or interacting with people whose concerns are alien to their own will appreciate A Perfect Day. People who wish to renew their outrage at the sheer stupidity that attends conflict zones and international coalitions might find they enjoy A Perfect Day a little more than they expected. Overall it is worth taking the time to watch (through your on demand service) and consider.