A striking incursion into a Marine Corps boot camp
It's not the typical format that one would expect from a documentary. Usually, the camera acts as an intermediate between the subjects and the public. But here, the camera seems to disappear. The dis-intermediation makes you plunge into the world of a boot camp. It's like you're there.
The film is poignant and true to life. There is no narration. No interviews. No fancy editing. What you see is raw and real. Because the movie is not editorial in nature, Canaan Brumley lets the viewers make their own opinions. I personally found it shocking but very insightful at the same time. Some parts were very hard to watch. Not that the images themselves were difficult to see. But somehow, you can feel the extenuation and pain that some of these recruits have to endure. I can't even imagine how enduring the recruits themselves have to be throughout their training.
All in all, a very interesting film. Canaan Brumley brings us an eye-opening documentary. The access he has been granted at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego is an innovation in itself.
The most memorable visual: the flock of birds flying in unison in a peaceful San Diego skyline, then the camera pans down to reveal soldiers marching in unison. Excellent timing and an amazing thing to watch on screen!
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