Full Battle Rattle | Chicago Reader

Full Battle Rattle

War games take on a surreal aspect in this video documentary about a U.S. Army battalion training in Medina Wasl, one of 13 fake Iraqi villages built in the Mojave Desert to simulate conditions overseas. The soldiers and those hired to portray villagers are so immersed in their role-playing that they take method acting to a new level, from Sergeant Paul Greene, already a veteran of two military tours, who's cast as an insurgent, to Nagi Moshi, an Iraqi refugee nervously awaiting the outcome of his immigration case, who plays a deputy police chief. Directors Tony Gerber and Jesse Moss raise some intriguing questions, such as whether exercises like these can effectively prepare soldiers for the carnage of actual combat, even those weaned on video games and reality TV. 85 min.

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