Redacted (2007): De Palma’s Angry Manifesto

Displaying overtly anti-Iraq War sentiments, Brian De Palma’s angry manifesto “Redacted” is an artistic disappointment, despite his honorable intent, anti-military crusade, and experimental nature.

Structurally messy, this HD-shot film falls in between the cracks, being neither documentary nor fictional (De Palma has described it as a “fictionalized docu”), neither intellectually nor emotionally compelling. Though set in Iraq and unfolding as a video diary, with specific dates and times placed on each entry, “Redacted” has nothing new to say about the Iraq War (or any war for that matter), that has not been said better before, including De Palma himself.

Revolving around the tragic episode of the rape and murder of a young Iraqi girl by US soldiers and the conspiracy to cover up the event, the film revisits a similar episode in De Palma’s “Casualties of War” (1989), a better picture set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War.

Though inspired by the March 2006 rape and killings by U.S. troops in Mahmoudiya (south Baghdad region), “Redacted” will inevitably suffer in comparison to the new, growing cycle of horrific and authentic documentaries about Iraq.

“Redcated” raises some intriguing questions, the most important of which may be how to portray a chaotic, messy, senseless war in a way that will make it palatable, tangible, and relatable to audiences. As it is, I doubt that the film, which is released by the entrepreneurial Magnolia, will be seen by many viewers. And because it comes across as agit-prop, it might serve as ammunition for the Right Wing, if they ever pay attention to this low-budget picture.

De Palma received the prestigious Best Director Award from the Venice Film Festival by a jury that was composed of directors; Zhang Yimou was president. Having served on 43 festivals juries (two of which in Venice Fest), I know that jury deliberations are often conducted along ideological and political rather than purely artistic yardsticks, if there is such a thing. It could be that De Palma impressed the jury members with a bold piece of cinema that seemingly deviates from most of his work, the stylized thrillers (from “Sisters” to last year’s “The Black Dahlia”), the big Hollywood movies (“The Untouchable,” “Mission Impossible”), and the Hitchcock-inspired features (“Obsession,” Dressed to Kill,” “Body Double”), with which he is most closely associated.

I say seemingly, because De Palma, as noted, directed one of the better Vietnam War films (“Casualties of War”) and he began his career almost forty years ago with two charming counter-cultural, quintessentially New York films, “Greetings” (1968) and “Hi, Mom” (1970), which, among other things displayed the potential of Robert De Niro as a great actor. In 1981, De Palma made the political thriller, “Blow Out,” which was inspired by Antonioni’s masterpiece, “Blow-Up,” but also stands on its own as a uniquely American paranoia-conspiracy picture

The first ten minutes are most promising, with the opening sequence illustrating the film’s title by placing blacked-out words on documents as they pass through the censors’ strict scrutiny; same image appears later.

This, and other acts, suggest that “Redacted” will be concerned with how the mass media, mostly U.S. and Western European, but also Arabic, deal, distort, and repackage the war with their formulaic “human interest” stories,” more in the vein of infotainment (or strict entertainment) than factual reportage.

Indeed, at least one fourth of the text consists of a sequence called “Barrage,” a French chronicle about the routine work at a checkpoint that calls for rough inquiring (some physical abuse), forcing civilians to strip, and other methods. Narrated in a solemn way by a female French journalist, it’s a fake report, though it’s not clear whether De Palma is using it as a way to criticize and perhaps even mock such reportage. Like most of the other footage, the report is disrupted, and we get bits and pieces of it interspersed throughout the film, a device that may call too much attention to its mechanics rather than function.

What gives the excessively fractured and incoherent film some unity is the group of half a dozen grunts, who either speak to the camera, or interview each other, or are being interviewed by the authorities, when the investigation of the rape-murder case begins.

Angel Salazar (Izzy Diaz), a Latino soldier, emerges as one of the central figures in Alfa Company, a grunt who records events on his video camera for a documentary to be called, “Tell Me No Lies.” Here, De Palma is at his most cynical, suggesting that Salazar is more interested in using the docu for his admission into a top film school than in a chronicle of the horrible war atrocities.

Through Salazar, we meet his peers at Camp Carolina, Samarra, which, unfortunately are all types, familiar from the long tradition of Hollywood combat films, dating back to John Wayne’s WWII films.

Sporting glasses, Gabe Blix (Kel O’Neill) is a yuppie intellectual soldier, who in his spare time reads John O’Hara’s “Appointment in Samarra.” At point, is asked to read novelist W. Somerset Maugham’s introduction to the book.

Then there is Lawyer McCoy (Rob Devaney), arguably the most sympathetic soldier, who claims he was sent “on a watch,” during the rape and thus did not witness directly the horrific violation. In a later scene, the conscientious soldier communicates via video with his macho father, a proud, old American who’s worried that his son might spill the beans to no effect. Of all the actors, Devaney is the only one who gives a convincing performance, particularly in the end, when he breaks down in tears while his buddies want to hear about his war adventures (“Tell us a good war story”).

The other three or four are even more narrowly defined, including the “leader,” Master Sgt. James Sweet (Ty Jones), a tough soldier, doing hiss third tour of duty, and B.B. Rush (Daniel Stewart Sherman) and Reno Flake (Patrick Carroll), the “villains of the piece,” who commit violence and abuse without feeling remorse or repentance.

The material for “Redacted” is constructed from footage that De Palm found on the Internet, while conducting research. Hence, in addition to Salazar’s video diary, there are glimpses into Arab TV channels, scenes of military investigation, various testimonials, and Islamic fundamentalist and American Websites, in one of which, a distressed wife, representing all other women, begs for the war to stop and for her husband to come home.

De Palma claims that his film is largely based on videos and journal entries posted on blogs and Websites, such as YouTube. To protect anonymity, unable to use this material, he reconstructed the vignettes-stories with a cast of largely unknown actors, mostly from the stage, shooting on digital video in Jordan’s Amman, standing in for Iraq.

With all due respect for the bold and even original approach, “Redacted” is after all a De Palma film, and thus we get some of his work’s recurrent motifs and references and allusions to other filmmakers, such as Kubrick, who made the Vietnam War film “Full Metal Jacket.” In music, too, De Palma relies on the Baroque score taken from Kubrick’s 1975 masterpiece “Barry Lyndon,” and uses of Verdi’s bel canto opera “Tosca” for the photo montages.

De Palma has always been a reflexive and self-reflexive director, and so in “Redacted,” he deliberately calls attention to the very process of filmmaking, which creates further distance between the viewers and the horrific incidents illustrated on screen.

That said, “Redacted” is a movie of some powerfully raw moments, if not whole scenes. It’s hard to shake the strong image early on, when a car driven by Iraqis doesn’t stop at the checkpoint, and Flake and Rush open fire, only to realize that one of the passengers is a pregnant woman. Rushed to the hospital, the woman, covered in blood, dies, and the soldiers, seemingly unaffected and unrepentant, go on to the next chore. Rush says, “You can’t afford remorse. You get remorse, you get weak. You get weak, you die.” Their rationalization: “We are here to follow orders, not to ask questions, that’s all.”

“Redcated” is at its most dramatically convincing and visually forceful in the last reel, which depicts a night raid on a civilians’ home, where Flake and Rush are secretly videotaped raping a young girl and then shooting in cold blood the girl and her entire family, which is in adjacent room. This incident is based on the March 2006 murder and rape of the 14-year-old Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi, in Mahmudiya. Masterly shot by De Palma in near dark (with green light), the act captures the victims’ hysteria, as well as our voyeuristic, defenseless instincts, watching something we don not want to watch, and feeling defenseless by doing nothing to stop it.

The best is left for the end, in a scene set in pub, with McCoy, his girlfriend, and chums celebrating his safe return home. This is De Palma’s cynical version of “hail the conquering hero,” with McCoy, haunted and traumatized by what he had seen and experienced, forced to forget and pretend that “All’s Well on the Western Front.”

“Redacted” ends with a three-minute montage, labeled “Collateral Damage,” which presents color photos of real-life victims of the Iraq War, a series of images of one dead civilian after another, lying in a pool of blood. These images are bound to haunt and linger in our personal and collective memories for a long time to come.

Ultimately, though, the most disappointing elements about “Redacted” are how simplistic the anti-war arguments are, how primitive the emotions evoked vis–vis a complex political situation, how shallow the dialogue is, how stereotypical the soldiers are.

Cast

Angel Salazar (Izzy Diaz)

Lawyer McCoy (Tob Devaney)

Gabe Blix (Kel O’Neill)

B.B. Rush (Daniel Stewart Sherman)

Reno Flake (Patrick Carroll)

Master Sgt. James Sweet (Ty Jones)

Credits

A Magnolia Pictures release of an HDNet Films presentation of a The Film Farm production. Produced by Jennifer Weiss, Simone Urdl, Jason Kliot, Joana Vicente.

Executive producers, Todd Wagner, Mark Cuban.

Directed, written by Brian De Palma.

Camera: Jonathon Cliff.

Editor: Bill Pankow.

Production designer: Phillip Barker.

Art director: Michael Diner.

Costume designer: Jamla Aladdin.

Sound: John Thomson. Sound designer: Paul Fairfield.

Special effects: David Harris.

Special makeup effects: Adrien Morot.

MPAA Rating: R

Running time: 90 Minutes.

 

xosotin chelseathông tin chuyển nhượngcâu lạc bộ bóng đá arsenalbóng đá atalantabundesligacầu thủ haalandUEFAevertonxosokeonhacaiketquabongdalichthidau7m.newskqbdtysokeobongdabongdalufutebol ao vivofutemaxmulticanaisonbethttps://bsport.fithttps://onbet88.ooohttps://i9bet.bizhttps://hi88.ooohttps://okvip.athttps://f8bet.athttps://fb88.cashhttps://vn88.cashhttps://shbet.atbóng đá world cupbóng đá inter milantin juventusbenzemala ligaclb leicester cityMUman citymessi lionelsalahnapolineymarpsgronaldoserie atottenhamvalenciaAS ROMALeverkusenac milanmbappenapolinewcastleaston villaliverpoolfa cupreal madridpremier leagueAjaxbao bong da247EPLbarcelonabournemouthaff cupasean footballbên lề sân cỏbáo bóng đá mớibóng đá cúp thế giớitin bóng đá ViệtUEFAbáo bóng đá việt namHuyền thoại bóng đágiải ngoại hạng anhSeagametap chi bong da the gioitin bong da lutrận đấu hôm nayviệt nam bóng đátin nong bong daBóng đá nữthể thao 7m24h bóng đábóng đá hôm naythe thao ngoai hang anhtin nhanh bóng đáphòng thay đồ bóng đábóng đá phủikèo nhà cái onbetbóng đá lu 2thông tin phòng thay đồthe thao vuaapp đánh lô đềdudoanxosoxổ số giải đặc biệthôm nay xổ sốkèo đẹp hôm nayketquaxosokq xskqxsmnsoi cầu ba miềnsoi cau thong kesxkt hôm naythế giới xổ sốxổ số 24hxo.soxoso3mienxo so ba mienxoso dac bietxosodientoanxổ số dự đoánvé số chiều xổxoso ket quaxosokienthietxoso kq hôm nayxoso ktxổ số megaxổ số mới nhất hôm nayxoso truc tiepxoso ViệtSX3MIENxs dự đoánxs mien bac hom nayxs miên namxsmientrungxsmn thu 7con số may mắn hôm nayKQXS 3 miền Bắc Trung Nam Nhanhdự đoán xổ số 3 miềndò vé sốdu doan xo so hom nayket qua xo xoket qua xo so.vntrúng thưởng xo sokq xoso trực tiếpket qua xskqxs 247số miền nams0x0 mienbacxosobamien hôm naysố đẹp hôm naysố đẹp trực tuyếnnuôi số đẹpxo so hom quaxoso ketquaxstruc tiep hom nayxổ số kiến thiết trực tiếpxổ số kq hôm nayso xo kq trực tuyenkết quả xổ số miền bắc trực tiếpxo so miền namxổ số miền nam trực tiếptrực tiếp xổ số hôm nayket wa xsKQ XOSOxoso onlinexo so truc tiep hom nayxsttso mien bac trong ngàyKQXS3Msố so mien bacdu doan xo so onlinedu doan cau loxổ số kenokqxs vnKQXOSOKQXS hôm naytrực tiếp kết quả xổ số ba miềncap lo dep nhat hom naysoi cầu chuẩn hôm nayso ket qua xo soXem kết quả xổ số nhanh nhấtSX3MIENXSMB chủ nhậtKQXSMNkết quả mở giải trực tuyếnGiờ vàng chốt số OnlineĐánh Đề Con Gìdò số miền namdò vé số hôm nayso mo so debach thủ lô đẹp nhất hôm naycầu đề hôm naykết quả xổ số kiến thiết toàn quốccau dep 88xsmb rong bach kimket qua xs 2023dự đoán xổ số hàng ngàyBạch thủ đề miền BắcSoi Cầu MB thần tàisoi cau vip 247soi cầu tốtsoi cầu miễn phísoi cau mb vipxsmb hom nayxs vietlottxsmn hôm naycầu lô đẹpthống kê lô kép xổ số miền Bắcquay thử xsmnxổ số thần tàiQuay thử XSMTxổ số chiều nayxo so mien nam hom nayweb đánh lô đề trực tuyến uy tínKQXS hôm nayxsmb ngày hôm nayXSMT chủ nhậtxổ số Power 6/55KQXS A trúng roycao thủ chốt sốbảng xổ số đặc biệtsoi cầu 247 vipsoi cầu wap 666Soi cầu miễn phí 888 VIPSoi Cau Chuan MBđộc thủ desố miền bắcthần tài cho sốKết quả xổ số thần tàiXem trực tiếp xổ sốXIN SỐ THẦN TÀI THỔ ĐỊACầu lô số đẹplô đẹp vip 24hsoi cầu miễn phí 888xổ số kiến thiết chiều nayXSMN thứ 7 hàng tuầnKết quả Xổ số Hồ Chí Minhnhà cái xổ số Việt NamXổ Số Đại PhátXổ số mới nhất Hôm Nayso xo mb hom nayxxmb88quay thu mbXo so Minh ChinhXS Minh Ngọc trực tiếp hôm nayXSMN 88XSTDxs than taixổ số UY TIN NHẤTxs vietlott 88SOI CẦU SIÊU CHUẨNSoiCauVietlô đẹp hôm nay vipket qua so xo hom naykqxsmb 30 ngàydự đoán xổ số 3 miềnSoi cầu 3 càng chuẩn xácbạch thủ lônuoi lo chuanbắt lô chuẩn theo ngàykq xo-solô 3 càngnuôi lô đề siêu vipcầu Lô Xiên XSMBđề về bao nhiêuSoi cầu x3xổ số kiến thiết ngày hôm nayquay thử xsmttruc tiep kết quả sxmntrực tiếp miền bắckết quả xổ số chấm vnbảng xs đặc biệt năm 2023soi cau xsmbxổ số hà nội hôm naysxmtxsmt hôm nayxs truc tiep mbketqua xo so onlinekqxs onlinexo số hôm nayXS3MTin xs hôm nayxsmn thu2XSMN hom nayxổ số miền bắc trực tiếp hôm naySO XOxsmbsxmn hôm nay188betlink188 xo sosoi cầu vip 88lô tô việtsoi lô việtXS247xs ba miềnchốt lô đẹp nhất hôm naychốt số xsmbCHƠI LÔ TÔsoi cau mn hom naychốt lô chuẩndu doan sxmtdự đoán xổ số onlinerồng bạch kim chốt 3 càng miễn phí hôm naythống kê lô gan miền bắcdàn đề lôCầu Kèo Đặc Biệtchốt cầu may mắnkết quả xổ số miền bắc hômSoi cầu vàng 777thẻ bài onlinedu doan mn 888soi cầu miền nam vipsoi cầu mt vipdàn de hôm nay7 cao thủ chốt sốsoi cau mien phi 7777 cao thủ chốt số nức tiếng3 càng miền bắcrồng bạch kim 777dàn de bất bạion newsddxsmn188betw88w88789bettf88sin88suvipsunwintf88five8812betsv88vn88Top 10 nhà cái uy tínsky88iwinlucky88nhacaisin88oxbetm88vn88w88789betiwinf8betrio66rio66lucky88oxbetvn88188bet789betMay-88five88one88sin88bk88xbetoxbetMU88188BETSV88RIO66ONBET88188betM88M88SV88Jun-68Jun-88one88iwinv9betw388OXBETw388w388onbetonbetonbetonbet88onbet88onbet88onbet88onbetonbetonbetonbetqh88mu88Nhà cái uy tínpog79vp777vp777vipbetvipbetuk88uk88typhu88typhu88tk88tk88sm66sm66me88me888live8live8livesm66me88win798livesm66me88win79pog79pog79vp777vp777uk88uk88tk88tk88luck8luck8kingbet86kingbet86k188k188hr99hr99123b8xbetvnvipbetsv66zbettaisunwin-vntyphu88vn138vwinvwinvi68ee881xbetrio66zbetvn138i9betvipfi88clubcf68onbet88ee88typhu88onbetonbetkhuyenmai12bet-moblie12betmoblietaimienphi247vi68clupcf68clupvipbeti9betqh88onb123onbefsoi cầunổ hũbắn cáđá gàđá gàgame bàicasinosoi cầuxóc đĩagame bàigiải mã giấc mơbầu cuaslot gamecasinonổ hủdàn đềBắn cácasinodàn đềnổ hũtài xỉuslot gamecasinobắn cáđá gàgame bàithể thaogame bàisoi cầukqsssoi cầucờ tướngbắn cágame bàixóc đĩa开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育亚新体育亚新体育亚新体育爱游戏爱游戏爱游戏华体会华体会华体会IM体育IM体育沙巴体育沙巴体育PM体育PM体育AG尊龙AG尊龙AG尊龙AG百家乐AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人<AG真人<皇冠体育皇冠体育PG电子PG电子万博体育万博体育KOK体育KOK体育欧宝体育江南体育江南体育江南体育半岛体育半岛体育半岛体育凯发娱乐凯发娱乐杏彩体育杏彩体育杏彩体育FB体育PM真人PM真人<米乐娱乐米乐娱乐天博体育天博体育开元棋牌开元棋牌j9九游会j9九游会开云体育AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人爱游戏华体会华体会im体育kok体育开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育欧宝体育ob体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育开云体育开云体育棋牌棋牌沙巴体育买球平台新葡京娱乐开云体育mu88qh88
Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter