NATO film charts Latvian special forces selection

Take note – story published 7 years ago

NATO has added to its growing credentials as a producer of short documentary films with a 13-minute movie about the selection of recruits to join Latvia's special forces.

Now available on YouTube, the film titled "The Brave Man Wins" (sadly, no women are included) gives a look at the grueling selection process to join the coveted elite unit.

It begins with a warning that some viewers might find scenes distressing - but if the sight of dead rabbits being prepared for the pot causes you concern, you are probably not special forces material. Or indeed catering corps material. 

Recruits face a variety of challenges such as forming a blindfold human centipede to crawl through tunnels under gunfire, being poked in the side of the head by instructors and being pummelled to a pulp by existing special forces operatives, then repeatedly drowned.

If they haven't had enough by that point they are returned to a state of nature by being dumped in the forest buck naked with nothing but the aforementioned unfortunate rabbit for company. What happens next is up to them - it could be the start of a long and beautiful friendship - or the start of a tasty stew.

(SPOILER: "The rabbits rarely survive," says the film)

However, so as not to cause even more distress, NATO has carefully pixellated out images of the near-naked recruits' butt cracks as they forage in the sub-zero wilderness with nothing but a rabbit skin for warmth. 

In keeping with the classic special forces selection documentary genre, the instructors speak anonymously with dramatic backlighting and music.

Watch the film below.


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