It's not every documentary that has me literally watching with my jaw slack, not quite believing what I'm seeing and silently hoping, praying that the men onscreen don't incur massive bodily harm. This was the case with Brimstone & Glory, and at certain points I found myself wondering if I was being jerked around... Brimstone & Glory doesn't exploit, because it doesn't judge.
The film’s visual style emphasises the transcendent spectacle of, well, blowing shit up. We never really get to know any of the participants on an individual level... Glimpses of interviews are rapidly intercut with procedural shots of interviewees assembling fireworks, while a disembodied chorus of voices come and go on the soundtrack, offering fragmentary thoughts on the importance of the event, of the risk of occasional deaths.
Intuition seems the sole animating force behind Brimstone & Glory... The film maintains an impressive headlong momentum, musical in both sound and structure as moments of peace and preparation give way to kaleidoscopic montages in which neon light and plums of smoke smother the barely visible townsfolk below. Little at True/False could match it for pure visceral pleasure.