A war movie like “Combat Obscura” is not turning up in Hollywood and so something you can see in the ARD and the ZDF. “Combat Obscura” shows the war raw and not polished. It was filmed by Lance Corporal Jacob Miles Lagoze. Of professional camera man in the Marines. But for the Material from the “Combat Obscura” was cut, not sent him to the corps in the deployment to Afghanistan.

The films shows scenes like this: “Okay, buddy, how are you today?”, a Marine, he stands over the body of a dead Afghan says. “You look like you were just fucked.” The man’s Hand is torn to shreds, the ball of the heavy sniper went through to protect gun before it entered his torso.

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Adam Petzsch, second Lieutenant, 25

6. March, Edinburgh
I don’t know what to expect there, and actually, I’m discouraged a bit, but I wanted to see how it really is, so I went to the army (l.)
19. June, Compound 19, Nad Ali, Afghanistan
(after a bomb attack)
It was the first use with a fatality. I wanted to create the types actually out of the way and even in safety. Right Thinking comes first, when it happened. I was wondering whether that would have been prevented if it was maybe my fault, and how to do it the other (m.)
25. October, Edinburgh
We were transferred to another base and could not move 200, 300 meters without being shot at. This was different, as we have seen on the patrol, often over many miles of anyone. But, nevertheless, I believe that our presence means something.

©Lalage Snow

it was Only when the US soldiers to the body to examine, you can see the shop owners from the area. Unarmed. They thought the man was a spotter for the Taliban. “Yes, lived for a while, here it went in and hit and then there, where his liver was,” says a soldier. That was bad luck.

use in Helmand

Lagoze was during the operations in Helmand province, always on the front line. Therefore, he was able to turn such scenes, the journalists never to watch got. These scenes of the real war, he kept.


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The Material is the opposite of the official war promotional videos, which has turned Lagoze in the framework of the public Relations work of the Marine corps. Now the Pentagon wants to prevent further screenings of the film. The censorship Trick: Lagoze’ve stood on the Soldliste, so all of the pictures he had taken with the equipment of the corps, the state module. The Smoking scenes where the US soldiers of hash from an old Pringles can. Something does not want to see the Pentagon. Other stuff your cigarettes with hashish when they are on Patrol.


danger and laughter – in “Combat Obscura” is the next to each other.

©Combat Obscura

About his work, the Ex-Marine spoke with the veterans Portal “Task & Purpose”. “When I came back, I didn’t know what I should do with it. I had the Material on my Computer,” he said to the Portal. Then he made a one-hour documentary from this “strange diary, with a lot of fucked-up shit”. Of classifications, explanations or analyses Lagoze holds nothing. To him it is not a matter of “these guys out there as heroes or victims”. He also does not know whether this war will eventually lead to something Good. In Afghanistan, nothing is simply black or white. “It was funny, it was terrible. The enormous absurdity of the whole experience surpasses any Story.”

wild shootouts moments, the consequences of extreme honesty, scenes of sadness, Humor, confusion, and boredom. In one scene, a Marine is shot in the head, he dies in front of the camera. “I think so, it’s hard to see something like this,” said Lagoze “Task & Purpose”. “But sometimes it’s just the way it is.”

No explanations, no interpretations

Lagoze refused the task, to explain the “all the Shit”. Or to position themselves against the war. He just wants to show how dark and ugly the war is. The dispute with the Pentagon Lagoze is not yet lost, even if he knows that it would prefer the Official, if the Film would not be shown. The Film was an honest representation of the insert in a remote patrol base, says the winner of the Purple Heart. He says: “This is not an anti-military Film.”


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