Thursday, May 09, 2013

SFIFF: The Kill Team

Tuesday evening at the SF International Film Festival I saw The Kill Team, a morally fraught documentary about a group of US soldiers convicted of killing unarmed Afghan civilians in 2010 for sport. The film focuses on the military court trial of Adam Winfield, who attempted to alert the military to what was going on through facebook chats with his father but ended up being charged with manslaughter for failing to prevent a murder. At the core of the film are interviews with the soldiers, whose appealing youth & clear intelligence are difficult to reconcile with their crimes. Jeremy Morlock, captured in a photo gleefully holding the head of a dead teenage boy, is a compelling & frighteningly charismatic speaker. We also see intimate moments with Mr. Winfield's distraught parents, especially his father, who continually questions what more he could have done to help his son. The film's mood is severe, & the festival audience gave it close attention & sat silently through the closing credits.

Director Dan Krauss was in attendance for a Q&A. He got access to interview the soldiers by embedding with Adam Winfield's defense team & having his film used as defense evidence. He compared Mr. Westfield to Hamlet & suggested that Mr. Westfield could have done more, though he acknowledged that it is hard to be a whistleblower in the military. Mr. Krauss considers this a story of failure of the military command structure, & his dream would be for the military to embrace the film & make it required viewing for officer training. We learned that even though Mr. Morlock is in prison, he somehow managed to wear army dress blue for his filmed interview.

The screening was introduced by Director of Programming Rachel Rosen & began with a montage of handsome photos in remembrance of George Gund III, the festival's Chairman of the Board who passed away earlier this year.

§ The Kill Team
dir: Dan Krauss
USA, 2013, 79 mins.

The 56th Annual San Francisco International Film Festival
Pacific Film Archive, Fri, 4/26 9:00 PM
Kabuki Sundance, Mon, 5/6, 3:15 PM
Kabuki Sundance, Tue, 5/7, 6:00 PM
New People Cinema, Thu, 5/9 6:00 PM

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Summary: Krauss master of manipulation
Its a manipulation! A Bias film VOID OF ALL FACTS as well as the entire story! Dissected with tiny pieces taken out to be reshaped into lies that portray this film makers personal ignorant Anti Military attitude! He plays on the clown media of Rolling Stone sensationalized clueless media coverage that demanded they all be burned at the stake! This is a unfair and poor excuse for a film. The true part of the story, the whole picture is not covered in his misshaped documentary. It doesn't cover the facts that even though these few soldiers saw little action, the rest of the Brigade Saw too much! They lost over 45 friends, teammates and brothers by the local afghan civilians who were actually the ones hunting them for sport when they were only trying to help the country. This one soldier had multiple deployments where he watched his brothers die horrible deaths by the hands of the locals. This was a isolated incident!!! In no way can you generalize or be allowed to exaggerate this. That is complete ignorance! Krauss is certainly no authority in predicting future military behavior! I cant believe the arrogance of Dan Krauss, when he is clueless to what it was that actually took place in Afghanistan!