Basic Training | Chicago Reader

Basic Training

Frederick Wiseman's fine black-and-white documentary (1971, 89 min.) follows a group of army draftees through eight weeks of basic training at Fort Polk, Kentucky, in the summer of 1970. It's notable for Wiseman's careful observation of the process and his fleet, economical editing; beneath its prosaic surfaces roil the issues of racism and the ongoing debacle in Vietnam.

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