First, many thanks to Jules for inviting me to guest blog at his place, and for the warm reception I received from his regular commenters. It’s been a real treat blogging alongside some of the blogosphere’s finest, and hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to do so again the next time Jules decides to take a hiatus from his tavern responsibilities. Jules, hope I didn’t leave too much of a mess! To you, Dissident Frogman (whose most recent post touched on a topic I’m about to discuss), I leave my lightly perfumed lavendar scarf which I’d be honored to have you wear on your arm around France as my champion. Just don’t wear it the next time you come to America, though. You might have quite few people look at you funny Until we meet again, mon ami …
Now, on to the story. Via Reuters:
VENICE (Reuters) – A new film about the real-life rape and killing of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl by U.S. soldiers who also murdered her family stunned the Venice festival, with shocking images that left some viewers in tears.
“Redacted”, by U.S. director Brian De Palma, is one of at least eight American films on the war in Iraq due for release in the next few months and the first of two movies on the conflict screening in Venice’s main competition.
Inspired by one of the most serious crimes committed by American soldiers in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, it is a harrowing indictment of the conflict and spares the audience no brutality to get its message across.
And this isn’t the first time he’s tried to broadbrush all of our military over the despicable actions of a few:
De Palma, 66, whose “Casualties of War” in 1989 told a similar tale of abuse by American soldiers in Vietnam, makes no secret of the goal he is hoping to achieve with the film’s images, all based on real material he found on the Internet.
“The movie is an attempt to bring the reality of what is happening in Iraq to the American people,” he told reporters after a press screening.
“The pictures are what will stop the war. One only hopes that these images will get the public incensed enough to motivate their Congressmen to vote against this war,” he said.
It should come as no great surprise that some parts of this trashing of our men and women in uniform were “fictionalized” – but, of course, there’s a reason for that:
Halfway between documentary and fiction, “Redacted” draws on soldiers’ home-made war videos, blogs and journals and footage posted on YouTube, reflecting changes in the way the media cover the war.
“In Vietnam, when we saw the images and the sorrow of the people we were traumatizing and killing, we saw the soldiers wounded and brought back in body bags. We see none of that in this war,” De Palma said.
“It’s all out there on the Internet, you can find it if you look for it, but it’s not in the major media. The media is now really part of the corporate establishment,” he said.
The film’s title refers to how, according to De Palma, mainstream American newspapers and television channels are failing to tell the true story of the war by keeping the most graphic images of the conflict away from public opinion.
“When I went out to find the pictures, I said (to the media) give me the pictures you can’t publish,” he said, adding that because of legal dangers he too had to “edit” the material.
“Everything that is in the movie is based on something I found that actually happened. But once I had put it in the script I would get a note from a lawyer saying you can’t use that because it’s real and we may get sued,” De Palma said.
“So I was forced to fictionalize things that were actually real.”
The film, shot in Jordan with a little known cast, ends with a series of photographs of Iraqi civilians killed and their faces blacked out for legal reasons.
“I think that’s terrible because now we have not even given the dignity of faces to this suffering people,” De Palma said.
“The great irony about Redacted is that it was redacted.”
For the last four years we’re been hearing nonstop accusations about how our troops are supposedly nothing but illiterate, heartless, lawless thugs who rape, pillage, and murder on whim – oftentimes from the mediots, and more often than not from the likes of prominent members of Congress who ‘claim’ to support the troops like Rep. John Murtha, Senator John Kerry – in an encore performance of his role in “supporting” the troops during Vietnam, Dick Durbin, Ted Kennedy, and Charlie Rangel (all comments of which have been published by an all-too willing anti-war press), yet De Palma wants to claim that the mainstream media is part of the “corporate establishment”?
Apparently this Hollyweirdo missed the last train to Cluesville.
If De Palma was really interested in getting the “truth” out about our mission in Iraq, the truth the mainstream media doesn’t saturate their airwaves, bandwidth, and print outlets with, he’d make a movie about the many heroes not just in Iraq, but in Afghanistan and elsewhere, heroes like:
… and the many, many other fine men and women who do our nation proud and serve with distinction and honor, as profiled at Blackfive, and many other wonderful milblogs out there that exist to tell you the stories about our, military and their accomplishments and heroism -both of which are done sometimes at the expense of making the ultimate sacrifice, stories our mainstream media passes over in favor of the more sensationalistic ones like Abu Ghraib.
But, as is the norm with the morally depraved far left as represented in this instance by Hollywood, the “truth” is as they define it and in this case, the “truth” for them is that our troops are no better -in fact, they are “worse” – than the type of brutal thugs who ruthlessly attacked America on 9-11, murdering 3,000 innoncents, innocents like 29 year-old newlywed Peter Edward Mardikian, who walked into the WTC that morning for a meeting in Windows on the World, not knowing he’d never see his college sweetheart bride again.
De Palma has taken the self-loathing that is deeply embedded into the liberal psyche and turned it into an art form. That he would not only make this film, but market it to a foreign audience, should tell you where his sympathies reside. Dr. Rusty Shackleford writes in response:
Our side condemns and prosecutes the same actions our enemies celebrate, and yet Leftists like De Palma equivocate between the two and are okay with our enemies winning?
The only thing wrong with that sentence is the fact that there’s a question mark at the end of it.
Does this mean I’m questioning Brian De Palma’s “patriotism”? Absolutely, positively, hell yeah, damn straight I am.
Cross-posted at Jules’ blog.