Based on a true story, The Inspection follows a young US Marine from his life on the streets to his rise within the armed forces, all the while searching for his mother’s love and acceptance.
In his brutal and visceral debut feature, filmmaker Elegance Bratton tells the true-to-life story of escaping homeless destitution to become a Marine, all while being queer in the “don’t ask, don’t tell” military era. Multi-talented Jeremy Pope plays the lead role, delivering a hard-hitting and heavy performance, shouldering the weight of this intense story. His journey in the military is not an easy one, and as he rises to shine in the light of his mother’s eyes (a fierce Gabrielle Union), be warned—The Inspection has a sting in its tail, brutal in its honesty and truth. Look out for Raul Castillo in a strong supporting role as the commanding officer. — Leo Koziol
“This well-acted outsider’s-eye view of the inner workings of the US armed forces is fiercely candid, in its condemnation of the brutality that is enmeshed in the training programme, and in its celebration of the bonds and brotherhood that grow between fellow cadets. The confidence that director Elegance Bratton shows in navigating this closed world comes from his own experience. Before he was the director of films such as Pier Kids, an award-winning documentary about the homeless LGBTQ+ community in New York, he too escaped a life on the street by serving in the Marines. Impressive stuff.” — Wendy Ide, The Guardian
"Elegance Bratton's superb autobiographical film explores the military's complex, natural, problematic, potentially liberating, unique and curious place in the United States in a way that words often fail to." — Violet Lucca, Sight and Sound
Unfortunately, due to an unforeseen and urgent family matter, writer/director Elegance Bratton and producer Chester Gordon can no longer attend NZIFF 2023. As such, we apologise that all Q+A sessions after The Inspection are unable to go ahead.