I SWEAR – PICTURES OF WOMEN SOLDIERS
by Maria Martinelli
2007 – DVCAM – 4/3 Letterbox 1×90′ – 2×50′
Festival and Awards: Doc in Tour 2009
Broadcasted: RAITRE DOC3 (Italia), Current TV (Italia)
Italy, 2007, DVCAM, 2×50’ – 1×90′
Titles and graphic
Kamera Film and Giusi Santoro
The documentary portrays the difficulties and achievements in the lives, of young female volunteers, between 18 and 25 years old, from all over Italy in the choices they face by joining the Italian Army. Once they have passed an initial examination, the young female soldiers endure ten-weeks of training, which will lead, after tough physical and aptitude tests, on a journey, to reach their goal of becoming a soldier.
It depicts “how and what” can be added, “starting with how it is to be a woman” in a soldier’s role, and describes the universe of the army seen through the eyes of the girls who decide to take this route. It’s a glimpse of a closed world, with strict rules and boundaries that are well established. “A big family” which, like all great ideas and establishments, welcomes you, asking a lot, maybe everything, and then in exchange offers safety and protection.
There’s an introduction to tough military life, where some quit, others clench their teeth between doubts and uncertainties, and for some this reinforces their decision to become women soldiers. Only those who pass this training, which ends with an oath, will be accepted into the corporation of the military army.
NOTE OF ARTISTIC INTENT
In the first part of our story, it was important to emphasize the crossing of a boundary: the decision of what becoming a soldier involved, focusing on the impact of a new reality, new rules, a life that has never been lived.
The story focuses on the inevitable division that’s created within a group of girls who have decided to make this choice. The strengthening of their bodies and their physical endurance through intense training and long marches; the impact of weapon use, and obedience as a psychological attitude are just some of the stumbling blocks to overcome. The stories, are told by the girls’ life experiences and in their own words, it dwells on the fact that this type of subscription that’s required to accept this new way of life and way of being; must be total.
There are those who join with enthusiasm, and those instead, who are overwhelmed by the strain and decide to abandon it.
Those who stay and decide to continue army life, often have a vision similar to what it means to be a woman and a soldier. Weapon training, military discipline, and barrack life, despite the extreme hardships and often impossible time schedules, become a lifestyle choice. A self-behavioural way to live for them and their companions.
These profiles of life and the girls’ thoughts, often begin to resemble, more and more how their external appearances are. Training is intensified, but the girls feel increasing enhanced, like a part of a family; which surrounds and protects them.
The goal is not only an oath, seen like a marriage, but more as a “love”, a life mission where body and soul are devoted.