Director Oden Roberts (Cannes Golden Lion winner 2012), draws on his own experiences of being recruited by the Army in High School, allowing us a look behind the curtain of the controversial recruiting practices of the US Army post 9/11.
Driven by powerhouse performances from Lew Temple and Clayne Crawford, A Fighting Season really shines a light on the mental effects of war and the harsh and immoral recruitment of dis-advantaged and under privileged people just to achieve an office target. Forever questioning the morals involved in the recruitment as these new recruits are essentially just another number to be sent out to their deaths, in most cases talked into the role through manipulation, abuse and sometimes outright lies.
Clayne Crawford’s character Mason displays common PTSD symptoms after coming back from a tour and losing his squadron on the battlefield. His fallen comrades forever playing on his mind as he battles his own demons and he once again finds himself on the frontline this time but at home, seeking out new recruits. Whilst his days on the battlefield are now behind him, he’s now fighting with his own morals, his own experiences and constantly questioning whether or not he’s doing the right thing.
Lew Temple plays the patriotic machismo ‘Harris’ as his morals are firmly on the side of whatever gets the job done. His brash and unconditional methods are a heavy reflection of the personal experiences of director Oden Roberts when he was recruited into the US army.
A Fighting Season leaves quite a sour taste in the mouth on an ethical note. A real eye-opener and one hell of a movie driven by stellar performances and a shockingly honest truth being projected for all to see.
The Fighting Season is being released on VOD platforms May 26.