The Recruiter

listen to the podcast


Year: 2008

Writer & Director: Edet Belzberg

The Recruiter is an hbo documentary about louisiana sergeant, first class clay usie, one of the most successful recruiters in the history of the u.s. army.  well, actually it is about more then just that.  while he is the center-piece, the film is just as much about the kids recruited.

in the film we follow five of them (four guys and one girl) as they go through the process with usie and then head off to boot camp.

my concern going into the film was that it was just going to be some show piece for the army and be one long recruitment commercial.  i was also thinking that it may go the other way and be a big anti-army thing. what i appreciated, was that it was neither.  of course there is some bias, but i felt that most of the biases i saw in the film came from me and were reflected onto the film rather then vice-versa.

the film follows the five recruits through their time with usie and through boot camp, which if you thought it was easy, you were very very wrong.  we learn why they joined up, what their parents think of it, what it does to their relationships, their feelings of self-worth and we see them discover what it is really like, as compared to their ideas of what it was going to be like. i became very involved with each of the kids stories and was drawn in to their successes and failures.

whether joining the army is something you would ever do or not, you should see this film.  as much as it might solidify your opinion of it all, it will hopefuly also open your mind to those that see it from the other side.