In Country Screen 6 articles

In Country


In Country Poster
  • It’s a film that too often falls back on banal or predictable images, but it’s astir with material that prods at the ambivalences that many of us feel about the American martial tradition, and is at times greatly moving.

  • None of it looks pleasant, but if it was, they probably wouldn't be there in the first place, and a chilling shot toward the end, of smiling young boys posing with machine guns at a Veterans Day parade, suggests the cycle won't end anytime soon.

  • Though the filmmakers struggle to keep up with life changes occurring over production, and with their battlefied coverage, they fit shades of color into In Country’s 80 minutes, via live-action RPG logistics and fourth-wall-breaking, and a battalion as motley as any backlot’s.

  • In Country is reminiscent of Werner Herzog’s 1997 documentary Little Dieter Needs To Fly... The difference here is that Attie and O’Hara aren’t behind the elaborate re-creations that they’re filming. But there are moments of Herzogian strangeness, like the “death” and subsequent offhand resurrection of one of the participants, who gets to live out the masochistically heroic fantasy of being KIA and mourned by his comrades.

  • [The reenactors' activities are] not simply a reliving of painful memories but a reexamination of the past within the present context. It is an attempt to understand what might have been going through the minds of the young men who were called to serve their country in an untenable situation. In that way, In Country is as much an unabashedly humanist document as it is a fascinating and touching piece of nonfiction filmmaking.

  • You’ll find yourself questioning your perceptions when you watch In Country. Immediately, what looks like a mockumentary about Vietnam is invaded by a 2014 pickup truck. Later, footage from an actual Vietnam doc says, “We’re looking at the sky from some cop-out angle.” Perhaps the material is self-investigatory or sometimes jaded, but documentarians Mike Attie and Meghan O’Hara know they’re representing a situation full of holes and wounded motives...

More Links