In Country

Once a year, war enthusiasts gather in the Oregon backwoods to reenact key battles of the American engagement in Vietnam, pretending they’re in Full Metal Jacket and saying things like “It’s tiger country. I’m gonna kill or be killed.” Documentary makers Mike Attie and Meghan O’Hara are blandly respectful toward the whole exercise, using ominous music to underscore the fantasy and ignoring the oddity of men reenacting a guerrilla war whose large-scale battles were less important than the ongoing indoctrination of villagers. The movie earns its stripes only when Attie and O’Hara interview the weekend warriors and find their motivations to be more varied and legitimate than you might expect: one is a former Iraq war medic seeking some historical perspective on his own combat experience, and another is an aging veteran of the South Vietnamese army who wants to reconnect emotionally with his native land.