Friday, August 31, 2007

Brian De Palma: Choking on Smug


Brian De Palma's antiwar movie:

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.

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.
Material he found on the internet? OK, they do admit, later, that the film is "halfway between documentary and fiction". But Why does there need to be fiction mixed in with truth? Maybe because the truth wasn't bad enough? But never mind that. Bad things have happened in Iraq, and in Newark, and in Paris, and Antwerp, and everywhere across the globe.

De Palma's film is about the rape and killing of a 14 year old girl and the murder of her family. Serious, sad stuff, the parts of it that are true. But De Palma's goal, to get us out of Iraq would bring about thousands of times more deaths. Can't De Palma count? Or does he not care so much about the people as he does about feeling good about himself. Go screen The Killing Fields, Brian.

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