Citizen Soldier (2016)
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Critic Reviews for Citizen Soldier
Where other good war docs have done more of the storytelling retrospectively, the directors here bounce around in-the-moment POV angles to keep us in the action.
Through the incorporation of multiple strategically placed cameras, including helmet cams, the filmmakers, who achieved a similar, grunts-eye-view in 2014's "The Hornet's Nest," create an undeniably palpable experience.
The tension in "Citizen Soldier" is enough to make you gnaw through your fingernails.
For want of a better term, this gives you a "first-person shooter" look at actual war: It's Call of Duty with no cheats or respawns, and real-world consequences.
A promising but half-realized documentary whose relentlessly upbeat and on-message tone is more akin to a recruiting video.
Audience Reviews for Citizen Soldier
"Citizen Soldier" leaves one with nothing more than an overwhelming pity for these brave men. "If we die here, the worst part of dying (for us) is that the hair on our arms won't raise up at our funeral when they play the national anthem." - Captain Morgan Ashworth. That statement alone is exemplary of the kind of misguided patriotism one must adopt to justify US involvement in a war that has time and time again been shown to not be about some vague notion of protecting American freedom but rather to serve multinational corporations, globalist agendas, and involve us in the opium industry's central hub. Sergeant Jared Colson talks about how they can't trust even children in Afghanistan's "generations of people who've known nothing but war, and they're very self-serving." Well, I wonder if Reagan had much to do with the Mujahadeen (aka the Taliban) being armed enough to fight off the Soviets, and I wonder whose country that served at the cost of Afghanistan's infrastructure and populace. It's almost as if foreign interventionists are unwanted there, regardless of one's economic ideologies. You reap what you sow, but for some reason, these poor fellas from Oklahoma had to do a lot more reaping than anyone who actually has anything to do with the diplomatic nightmare that continues in the Middle East to this day. In terms of film-making, "Citizen Soldier" is on par with any given episode of "Duck Dynasty" plus tons of go-pro footage mid-combat. The soundtrack is generic rock/Americana stock music. It briefly touches on the PTSD that is much more prevalent among our armed forces than this documentary lets on, and it seems more like a recruitment film for the National Guard than an accurate documentary of the role the US military plays abroad. Like I said, I feel nothing but sorrow for what these men went through and lost, and it almost seems like they are being exploited for militaristic propaganda.
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