first published on March 4, 2019 by Will
We’re pretty excited for a new war documentary dropping later this month. The United States Marine Corps… they’re not excited at all.
In fact, the USMC threatened to sue “Combat Obscura” film producer and former Marine Combat Cameraman, Miles Lagoze, to keep the film from being made, as they felt it would tarnish the image of the Corps.
The footage for the documentary was filmed by Lagoze when he embedded with 1st Battalion, 6th Marines during a 2011 deployment to Afghanistan.
Lagoze was given strict, specific instruction to not film Marines cursing, smoking, or even any instances of them not completely adhering to uniform standards. However, what he filmed was the reality of combat life on the frontlines, and it certainly wasn’t the image of the Marines the top brass wanted presented to the public.
According to a feature from Task and Purpose, the film shows airstrikes hitting incorrect target dwellings and Marines smoking local hash, among dozens of other instances that would likely cause senior noncommissioned officers to experience spontaneous coronary artery dissection.
“I can only film what’s happening around me. If they’re (USMC) looking for only certain things that fit into that historical documentation, then I see that as problematic,” Lagoze said. “I was providing an outlet so that these guys’ stories wouldn’t get lost and whitewashed in the sanitized version the Marine Corps wanted to perpetuate. It wasn’t personal ambition.”
The Marine Corps initially sought legal action against Lagoze, as the material was recorded mostly with government equipment and the footage had not been cleared for release. However, a Marine spokesman claimed they will no longer pursue legal action. As far as the possibly illegal activities filmed in the documentary, the statute of limitations has passed since they occurred, and will therefore not be subject of prosecution.
“You can shit on the guys on the ground out there, but who’s running the war? Who thought what we were actually doing was going to work? That’s what I think we should be more focused on than kids smoking hash.”
Combat Obscura will be in theaters and VOD March 15th. Find out more at COMBATOBSCURA.OSCILLOSCOPE.NET