A documentary about women's basic training in Fort Georgia.


(as Nicholas Broomfield),

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Credited cast:
Gregory Abing ...
Himself (as Sgt. Abing)
Clara Alves ...
Herself (as Pvt. Alves)
Jackie Hall ...
Herself (as Pvt.Hall)
Joann Johnson ...
Herself (as Pvt. Johnson)
Pvt. Kelsaw ...
Pvt. Tutin ...


A documentary about women's basic training in Fort Georgia.

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27 September 1981 (USA)  »

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Everyone who has not been in combat should see this movie
26 January 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The only reason I don't give this documentary 10 stars is its poor production quality. The film's video and audio are not up to even the standards of 1981. That said, the focus on Basic Training of (female) Army recruits is presented unvarnished in all its cruel reality. (I underwent Basic in 1970, and it was pretty much the same).

Without explaining it in middle school terminology, the way so many modern movies and TV shows do, filmmaker Nick Broomfield lets the principals do the explaining with their actions and their own words. Many times, the hazing of the girls may seem excessive. It's not. The mission is to prepare these future soldiers to survive life and death confrontations, by learning to follow the orders of their superiors instantly and without question. Those who can't or won't are "encouraged" to leave, and they leave. This weeding out is necessary, to save them and their comrades in arms. It ain't beanbag, it's war they're being prepared for!

Finally, the last 2 minutes of this movie are an elegy for Sergeant Hill, the tough male drill instructor. A recruit asks him what effect the (Vietnam) war had on him, and in his plainspoken eloquence, he gives the lie to the glory of battle so exalted in speeches like Shakespeare's Henry V (the famous "Band of Brothers" monologue before Agincourt). His mourning for the death of his soul in the jungles of Vietnam is a moving as anything I've ever heard, and I've often wondered what became of him. And pay attention to the cadence the girls repeat over the closing credits. The hairs will stand up on your neck.

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