The film jumps around, seemingly without structure. At times Marines are patrolling, other times they are sitting against walls, smoking, waiting. There are brief moments of combat, and then down moments of boredom.
Titled Combat Obscura, it offers no timeline to follow, and gives little thought to the strategic outlook of the Afghan War, which was just a quaint nine years old in 2011 when footage was first shot by Marine Lance Cpl. Miles Lagoze, then a 21-year-old combat cameraman attached to 1st Battalion, 6th Marines.
Yet it gives perhaps the most raw and realistic look at what an infantry Marine sees while on a combat deployment overseas.
It looks nothing like the recruiting pitch being sold to American teenagers, which is probably why the Marine Corps itself wanted nothing to do with it.