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REDACTED

Director: BRIAN DE PALMA

U.S.A. • 2007 • COLOUR • DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO • 90 MIN


BRIAN DE PALMA’S ANGRY DOCUMENTARY-STYLE FICTION ABOUT A REAL AMERICAN MILITARY ATROCITY IN IRAQ WAS SHOT ON DIGITAL VIDEO FOR JUST $5 MILLION.
Described by one pundit as a representation of ‘war in the age of YouTube’, Redacted (a military euphemism for censored) employs frantically cross-cut material culled from a range of media: footage captured on American soldier Angel Salazar’s video camera, a pretentious French documentary awash with plangent classical music, CCTV surveillance images, Arablanguage TV news coverage, ranting propaganda from an Al- Quieda web site and a home-front blog entitled ‘Soldier’s Wife’. The tedium and low-level stress of routine patrols gives way to violent hysteria when a car rushing a pregnant woman to hospital comes under fire at a Samarra roadblock manned by Angel’s Alpha company. The woman later dies in hospital, so angry locals plant an explosive device in reprisal. Violence begets more violence, as racist US soldiers BB Rush and Reno Flake coerce their buddies into participating in the rape and murder of an entire Iraqi family. The whole thing is captured by Salazar’s secret, head-mounted camera. It is savagely ironic that the true events shown here bear a striking similarity to those in De Palma’s fictional Vietnam movie Casualties of War. But if it’s subtlety you’re looking for, look elsewhere. Even so, the film’s jaundiced message comes over loud and clear: this pointless war is giving free rein to the violent xenophobia of American soldiers, whose bigotry finds an echo in the American media’s unquestioning support for the so-called ‘war on terror’. —Nigel Floyd.

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