The Ground Truth *1/2
"The Ground Truth" is set to come out on DVD in the next two weeks or so, but Focus Features was so impressed with the documentary, that they decided to release it in select theatres for a week before the DVD. But, it really isn't too impressive, and not worth paying to see it on the big screen. I am just starting to get tired of all these anti-war documentaries. Even the pro-war documentaries. . . almost anything political really. "The Ground Truth" has a very simple message: Don't go to war. It's bad. It's told with alot of personal interviews, with actual soliders who just came back from Iraq. And they all have the same thing to say, and many of them share the same experiences. It starts off with a comparision of Army commericals, and commericals for cigarettes. Cigarettes some with a warning, telling people of the health risks and the dangers involved. However, being in the Army could sometimes be worse than smoking a cigarette, and those commericals don't come with a warning.
The entire process just gets repetive. Every solider had the same thing to say. War is bad. They saw horrible things. One soldier tells a story about seeing a woman on the side of the road, walking towards the car with the soliders in. And one of them had to option to either let her go, or to shoot her because she might be equipped with bombs. And he shoots her, and when she lands to the ground, he sees that in her hands was a white flag, trying to call out truce to them all. The filmmakers also try to provide a dramatic filming style. At one point, one of the soliders is telling a story about them loosing their hand and shattering their legs. Throughout the entire story, the camera pans out slowly, revealing that he has a fake plastic arm, and is sitting in a wheelchair.
I just understand how many of these soliders feel, and I didn't really need to see a 79 minute film telling me. This is strongly anti-war, warning the people that are excited to be going into combat that they won't come back the same. There were many eye-rolling lines, for example "I may not be hurt, but I am a casuality of war," or "The way that he came back isn't the same man that he was when he left." "The Ground Truth" seems to not even try to say something original or bold. One of the soliders even had a disfigured face, for effect, but only him. It's a poorly made documentary, and I don't understand why Focus even bothered giving it a theatre release. It's fine as a direct to video, or something that you'd see on PBS. Not for the theatre experience.