Building on the "truth in media" theme we've been dealing with, I wanted to return to what is "true" in Deborah Scranton's film. I saw two kinds of authenticity: the soldier's voice and the soldier's reality. I dealt with this a little in a question I asked in class, dealing with the level of control over the camera the troops had while in combat, but I want to outline it a little more clearly. The sequences and shots where I felt the soldier's voice was coming across most clearly were the light-hearted, joking scenes, the scenes where they notice something funny or poignant in the middle of all the chaos - for example, the shot of the little boy who walks around the courtyard, in his own little world, in the middle of a war zone. It is these scenes that I think the soldiers had the most control over what they were broadcasting, what they wanted to show. So in a way, these are the sequences most accurately depicting the voice of the soldiers, what they wanted to depict.
On the other hand, there are the combat sequences, where the camera is unacknowledged. First and foremost, the soldiers want to survive. They could care less what is going on the camera, they have very little control over what is depicted. But in a sense, this is their reality, it's what it's like to be in Iraq in a combat situation. In showing both the light-hearted shots and the heavier combat sequences, I think Scranton appropriately shows both sides in her attempt to present the story of the infantry soldiers of Iraq - their reality and their voice. I was interested in whether the soldiers had input on the editing process because I was wondering if they preferred to show one type of shot or the other. Judging by the answers in class today, it seems they had some control over their own footage and they were pleased with the end result.