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Ghost Canyon

Movie Reviews
'Severe Clear'
(Lt. Mike Scotti, Kristian Fraga, et al / Unrated / 93 Minutes / Sirk Productions)

Overview: Marine First Lieutenant Michael Scotti and his fellow soldiers, with the help of mini-cams, document the intense, often frightening experience that was their 2003 tour of duty on the front lines of the United States¡¦ Operation Iraqi Freedom. They take us along for the ride to Kuwait, Baghdad, and at last, back to New York City, hardly leaving any detail to the imagination as they go.

Review: Every civilian should see this film. It is raw, and moving, and most of all, unflinchingly honest. The experiences Scotti captures are moments that the national and global media outlets never show or tell the people watching at home. So many times, it seems, civilians take for granted the fact that someone else is overseas fighting to keep them safe. I truly believe that the underlying purpose of the film is to provide the viewer with an intimate look at what these courageous people go through on a daily basis.

Due to the nature of the film, the lighter moments are obviously few and far between, but they do exist„othey have to, in order to balance out the moments that will either make your breath catch or completely dumbfound you. The language is harsh. The soldiers use nearly every word in the book, but you end up forgiving them. The camera work is shoddy in places, mostly during sequences of intense action, which happens often. The intimate segments read from Scotti¡¦s personal journal, letters home, and notes taken down for a book give a sense of personality to the gritty footage or even more shocking still-life photographs that it is all interspersed between.

In the end, 'Severe Clear' can be boiled down to one word: Courage. It took courage for Scotti and his comrades to not only confront, but capture the turmoil they experience. And in some ways, it takes courage to sit down and watch this film. But after an hour and a half, this reviewer can safely say that I have gained a new appreciation for our men and women in uniform, as well as a sense of clarity about the conflict in the Middle East and the severity of war in general, something that no other war picture has been yet been able to provide.

Reviewed by: Ashley J. Trombley

Check out Ashley Trombley's Interview with First Lieutenant Mike Scotti right here!