To tell a story of war from the point of view of a dog is an orthogonal way of looking at agency and subjectivity in war. It teases out the unquestioned belief that humans are the only agential and knowing beings in wartime situations. It forces us to re-examine the separation between nature and culture, and the trust in human agency that acts on nature and to which nature responds in anticipated ways. Are humans the only knowing beings who have free will? Can there be such a thing as a nonhuman agentiality in a sphere of culture and politics such as war? Can we treat dogs or goats as subjects instead of objects in war? Or could we address the knowing and being of soldiers in posthumanist terms? In this chapter, I move towards lighter ways to approach war, politics and experience. I turn to representations of subjectivity and agency in two different films. The first is a Finnish family film, Stormheart (2008), and the second is an American film, The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009). I have chosen these two films as I see them demonstrating the ways in which posthumanist agentiality and new materialism can be concretized through a framework that reflects contemporary (feminist) IR concerns for the understanding of the lived experience of war. Posthumanist and new materialist approaches bring us back to the questions of the nature of nature and how matter comes to matter in the social world. As such, they open up the anthropocentric understanding of knowing as a birthright of humans, and instead they recognize how nonhumans participate in the process of making the world known. In this way, attention is turned to how humans are part of the materiality of nature, and to the impossibility of separating the social world from the natural world of which we are a part. Materiality is, as Bennett (2010: 112) argues, “a rubric that tends to horizontalize the relations between humans, biota, and abiota. It draws human attentions sideways, away from an ontologically ranked Great Chain of Being and toward greater appreciation of the complex entanglements of humans and nonhumans.” This horizontalization and the complex entanglement of humans and nonhumans is the topic of this chapter. It offers the key to the reading of the two films, in which I focus on a discussion of how posthumanist agentiality and agential realist knowing/being is represented in these films. Looked at in this way, the films do not only focus on the human experience of war, or gendered

experiences of war, but demonstrate what posthumanist knowing and being in a wartime context could look like. Both these films address the nature-culture distinction, and open an inquiry into human and nonhuman forms of agency in the context of war. Both films reflect on human capabilities and constrictions in constructive instead of constricted ways, and acknowledge much more aliveness and unpredictability in human and nonhuman agency in wartime situations than IR has been comfortable with. As both these films are also comedies, there is a sense of parody and of open-endedness to what exactly is true, and both films defy easy and reductionist interpretations of their storylines. I see these films as orthogonal approaches, for they tell the story of experiencing war from a new and unexpected angle. Through the use of humor and openended questions, these films allow us to see war experience in new and creative ways. The Finnish film Stormheart (2008), directed by Kaisa Rastimo,2 tells the story of a Caucasian sheepdog puppy rescued, at the moment of the fall of the Berlin Wall, by the father of a Finnish family as a pet for his daughters. The dog is the offspring of watchdogs that were used to guard the Berlin Wall, but the past of the dog and its breed are unknown to the Finnish family. The story of the use of dogs for military purposes is told indirectly through the efforts of the family to deal with the puppy, which grows into a huge watchdog and shows more and more behavior that is characteristic of his breed, being overly protective of the seven-year-old daughter Pearl and also taking a dominant role in the family. The story of the use of dogs in the military during the Cold War as weapons and watchdogs is told, for example, by finding answers to the questions “What breed is Stormheart?” or “What do you know about Stormheart?”3