Tuesday, May 27, 2008


ABOUT: Redacted is a film written and directed by Brian De Palma that premiered at the 2007 Venice Film Festival, where it earned a Silver Lion "best director" award. This film is a companion to an earlier film by De Palma, 1989's Casualties of War. It was shot in Jordan.

It is a drama based on the Mahmudiyah killings, the gang-rape, murder, and burning of Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi, a 14-year-old Iraqi girl in March 2006 by U.S. soldiers who also killed her parents and her younger sister.

MY REVIEW: Redacted tells a story that everyone should know about the Iraq War but don't. The story in the movie is based on real events that actually happened and it probably isn't the only one either. Events like these, where soldiers are under a lot of stress and end up doing things that they normally wouldn't do, have happened before in Vietnam. These stories need to be told because most of the time the American public doesn't get stories like these on their local news.

Brain De Palma found out about the story that is in Redacted from the Internet and YouTube. That is where we have to find our news now. The Internet is a powerful tool and with it we are able to find out almost anything about anything. Because the news networks choose not to cover stories for whatever reason, we are not able to trust them anymore with the news that we do get. So it is up to us to go on the Internet and find them. It's a sad thing but in a way it's kinda neat to be your own investigator and find the news for yourself, that is if you want to. I'm sure the people who watch Access Hollywood don't really care about whats going on around them in the real world so it doesn't apply to them. But people who do care need to stop trusting their favorite news channel and go on the web.

Redacted could have been better in a documentary style film but I understand that it would have been hard to make a docu about something that was hidden in the first place and hard to put together without footage of the incident or interviews. So De Palma reenacts the incidents and some of it works but some of it doesn't. All the actors in the film are unknown which makes it work but because they are not good actors they all tend to overact. Some scenes are beautiful in their horror and the scenes with the soldiers in their barracks drag on.

The story of Redacted is what is important though and so it doesn't really matter how the film went about telling the story but that it was just told at all.

MY CHEESY RATING: Redacted needs to redact its filmmaking technique. 5 out of 10



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