QZ qz thoughts
a blog from Eli the Bearded
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Redacted (2007)

Redacted (2007) at IMDB

Redacted is a loose retelling of the Mahmudiyah rape and murders (see, eg Mahmudiyah killings at wikipeda ). It uses an interesting narrative style were all shots come from identified cameras. There's the footage purportedly from the soldier in the group. There's the footage from insurgents. There's the vlog of a wife of a solider. There are the "youtube" released video clips. There's a French language documentary on Iraq checkpoints. And to fill in, there are military base security cameras (which include with camera id and timestamp).

The first half of the film establishes characters and environment. This clearly establishes the film as political without getting into the gruesome situation that develops. Included is a read aloud of the Somerset Maugham introduction to the novel Appointment in Samarra:

A merchant in Baghdad sends his servant to the marketplace for provisions. Shortly, the servant comes home white and trembling and tells him that in the marketplace he was jostled by a woman, whom he recognized as Death, and she made a threatening gesture. Borrowing the merchant's horse, he flees at top speed to Samarra, a distance of about 75 miles (125 km), where he believes Death will not find him. The merchant then goes to the marketplace and finds Death, and asks why she made the threatening gesture. She replies, "That was not a threatening gesture, it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Baghdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra."
(That bit is quoted from a website, not the exact words in the movie.) The point being that death is inevitable and the little story taking place in Iraq makes death in Iraq inevitable in the minds of the characters.

If you can put the slant aside, and that may not be possible depending on where you stand on the current Iraq situation, it's interesting film if only for the form. It pretty much comes across as realistic, but openly admits that "Truth is the first causality of war". All of the characters do some wrong, and truth is openly rejected by some of them.

Political warning:

The DVD included a trailer for Terror's Advocate, a documentary on the infamous defense lawyer Jacques Vergè. The trailer has him saying "People ask me if I'd defend Hitler. I'd even defend Bush, but only if he agrees to plead guilty."

Final thought: might be a good tie-in for that Bush for Murder movie mentioned here recently