Published on June 28th, 2012 | by Chris3
Severe Clear (2009)
Lieutenant Mike Scotti took a camera in when his Marine artillery unit was sent across the Kuwait border into Iraq, and managed to compile this incredible footage, and bring this jaw dropping film to life. Broken up into "Chapters" for different stages, before, during, and after the invasion.... I don't think you'll find a more intense, more "condensed" history of the invasion, the bullshit, the feelings behind it at the time.... than this. If you want to know what it was probably like, I doubt you'll get much closer than this without actually being there.
Be forewarned. This film is not for the weak at heart, weak in spirit, or weak in the stomach. There are lots of clips and sentiment of Marines, well, being Marines. "We're going to go there, and kill everything." Because, not to put too fine a point on it, that's what Marines do. There's no attempt to rationalize this, which is pretty much how it should be. "We go where they tell us, and do what they tell us, and then we go home." There's also a rather large helping of uncensored wartime gore. Unpleasant, but necessary to drive the entire package home, especially in concert with his narration (presumably from his book which references several times.)
The frank-ness of his filming, commentary, and delivery is much appreciated. To me, at least, it never had that "reality TV" feel to it which I picked up with Restrepo and Armadillo.
And big kudos to the audio production folks. I actually jumped a few times when those combat scenes kicked in from near silence. Their ability to pull such convincing and deafening sound out of what was probably impossible source material is not to be ignored. Yes, the video is grainy and rather low quality, but that's the source you're looking at. Think state-of-the-art 2002 handheld video, probably 8mm or maybe early DV tape and that's what you've got.
I also don't know how old Mr. Scotti is, but the choice of soundtrack music (sounded like a lot of early 90's stuff) would put him about my age, which also hit home.
Going to have to go 8.5/10. A good solid piece of true reality-tv-free documentary film making. Find a way to watch this one, but be prepared. (Edit: Yeah I changed the rating. Realized I gave Restrepo an 8 and had to one-up it with this one!)
Severe Clear [Blu-ray]
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DVD InformationBinding: Blu-ray
Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Manufacturer: Sirk Productions, LLC.
Original Release Date:
- Factory sealed DVD
52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
This is our story,
This review is from: Severe Clear [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I served in this unit during this time and knew Lt. Scotti. This is how it went down, like it or not, and this the truth people should see. War is horrific and tragic and Lt held none of that back. You want to know how it felt, here you go. Plain and simple.
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
An excellent first-hand depiction of what it was like deploying to 2003 Iraq,
This review is from: Severe Clear (DVD)I found this documentary title on a list of recommended films as I searched for other "raw" documentaries about the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
I found it quite captivating from the moment it started. It is filmed by a Marine Lieutenant who is a likable and dynamic character. He pays adequate homage to his comrades and the editing is balanced to show both the chaos and horror of conducting war, while not missing the utter boredom and misery of waiting in the Iraqi/Kuwaiti desert frequently referred to as a "sh*thole" - and when you see it, you understand why they felt that way.
War is a nasty business and I'm not sure the American public is tolerant of this anymore. This documentary does not flinch from portraying most if not all the aspects of conducting an invasion of a country. Independent of your political views, this documentary showed first-hand what our volunteer military force faces when the politicians say "jump". I should warn that there is footage... Read more
Reality of 'Boots on the Ground',
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This review is from: Severe Clear (Amazon Video)
Mike Cotti: Thanks for capturing and sharing the REALITY of 'boots on the ground'. Should be required viewing during Congressional orientation of all new members, and staff and politicos - so it is truly understood what it means when our country commits our troops.
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Summary: You want a no-bullshit, pulls-no-punches live-as-live-gets documentary on the initial push into Iraq in 2003? Then look no further than Severe Clear.