Documentary filmmaker and former Marine Miles Lagoze wants to show what it’s really like in combat so that people will stop glamorizing the experience.
He says his controversial new film, "Combat Obscura," does just that.
“I think ... veterans of this war (Afghanistan) are at a point where we’re sick of the hero worshipping and the sugarcoating of the experience and a lot of us are sick of people saying, ‘thank you for your service,’ without actually getting in a real conversation about what we did and what happened,” Lagoze told Stars and Stripes in a wide-ranging interview.
“Combat Obscura” aims to change the “sanitized and sanctified view of the military,” by showing viewers what combat is actually like, he said.
“It’s important because if you worship the military too much, you lose track of why we’re actually at war and the underlying issues that are causing it,” Lagoze told the publication that caters to the U.S. military community.
Lagoze created the documentary largely with footage he shot when serving in Afghanistan. It aims to reveal a look at the day-to-day life of Marines and examine the psychological toll they endure.
“Lagoze’s job as a combat cameraman was to shoot and edit video of Marines at war. After being approved by the military, the footage was distributed to private news networks and the American Forces Network,” Stars and Stripes’ Phillip Walter Wellman wrote.
The film also includes footage that was never approved by the Marine Corps for release, according to Stars and Stripes.
“We filmed what they wanted, but then we kept shooting,” Lagoze said.
The military has decided not to pursue legal action for now, Marine spokesman Maj. Brian Block told Stars and Stripes.
“The potentially criminal activity captured ... is inexcusable and selfish and endangered the security of the Marines in that unit,” Block told the publication. “Unfortunately, the statute of limitations for pursuing disciplinary action has passed.”