The Disappearance of McKinley Nolan Review and Trailer

One of the last remaining U.S soldiers unaccounted for in Vietnam, McKinley Nolan is a shroud of mystery.  As new evidence surfaces, a spark reignites amongst filmmaker, Henry Corra and writer, Richard Linnet. Their search for McKinley takes us down a somber road of bleak nostalgia riddled with anguish and insubstantial assumptions.

When army veteran Dan Smith revisited his nightmare Vietnam tour in 2006, he saw a familiar unfamiliar face. A Black-American in the streets of a Vietnamese border town.  His brief encounter with the man led him to believe it was the missing G.I., Nolan.  Teaming up with Corra and Linnet, Smith and the film crew traveled to Washington, Texas to meet with Nolan’s family and discuss the latest findings.  After a quick briefing, McKinley’s brother, Michael and the film crew embark to Vietnam to investigate what really happened to McKinley.

Shot in an experimental fashion, this documentary had a visual cycle to it that is very unique. Using stock footage of the war and a clever soundtrack to emanate a homesick feeling, the editing was superb at points.  Though as the film progressed, it became more misleading.  Many documentaries seem to struggle with how they reveal their subjects without exploiting them.  The filmmakers’ intentions would appear to be sincere, but I cannot help but think that they took advantage of a family who did not know better.  Regardless, exploitation is crucial for making a documentary and I cannot blame Corra for his style.

SFFS/New People Cinema (1746 Post St.) will be screening The Disappearance of McKinley Nolan on Monday, September 26th.

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