The path of two brothers—one brash (David Maloney), the other stolid (Tim Morton)—diverges in Zachary Treitz’s Men Go To Battle, a slim Civil War saga set in Kentucky and Alabama in 1861 and 1862. Produced for about $500,000 the movie is a paragon of DIY independent filmmaking. Although there are not any large scale battle scenes, a substantial section of the movie involves one of the brothers going through the regular routine of being a soldier in the Union Army. In order to film this, Treitz “persuaded local re–enactors of the Battle of Perryville, Ky., to let his crew film them.” As one would expect from a film featuring bucolic landscapes, a lot of Brett Jutkiewicz’s digital camera cinematography is pretty. The movie is occasionally funny and there are genuine emotions, however subtle. One film critic correctly locates the essence of this sort of independent film, calling it a movie that “deliberately avoids ‘moments.'” Indeed, there are no montages in Men Go To Battle, no booming score, no volcanic monologues. You may find this approach fresh. Or you may find it boring.
By Alec Julian & Carrie White