1971. USA. Frederick Wiseman. 89 min.
Followed by a discussion between Wiseman and curator Josh Siegel
Wednesday, January 20, 2010, 7:00 p.m.
Theater 1 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1), T1
1971. USA. Directed by Frederick Wiseman. An unprecedented examination, filmed at the height of the Vietnam War, of the masterfully efficient and subtly overpowering psychological and physical means by which the United States Army turns young draftees and enlisted men into soldiers—a nine-week process of indoctrination and dehumanization that, at its most absurd, offers echoes of Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H (1970), and at its most grim—though in far more measured fashion—forms the basis for the boot camp scenes in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket (1987) and countless other films. Wiseman, who introduces the screening, observes, “[The army] knew how to train people who had no experience and no real interest in killing to become killers—in the service of the State—but killers, nonetheless. They knew how to strip off that thin veneer of civility." 89 min.