November 16, 2007, - 4:05 pm
Wall St. Journal’s Liberal Movie Critic: “Redacted” is “Dismal”, “Propaganda”, “Speculative and Utterly Unconvincing”
By Debbie Schlussel
Back in February, I was the first to blog about Brian DePalma’s and Mark Cuban’s anti-troops movie, “Redacted.” Six months later, a number of other conservative blogs, and then Bill O’Reilly, discovered America and jumped on the bandwagon. And now, nine months later, the movie has debuted.
As I’ve written, the movie focuses on an anomalous incident in which American soldiers allegedly raped an Iraqi girl. No prob that this is a blip and completely unrepresentative of the majority of our troops, sacrificing to help those many in Iraq who hate us. Mark Cuban e-mailed me that this movie is actually “patriotic.” Um, sure doesn’t sound like it.
Well, now that “Redacted” is hitting theaters, even the most liberal of mainstream movie critics hate it. Take the Wall Street Journal’s Joe Morgenstern. His headline in today’s paper:
“Redacted” Is Dismal
And his review matches the headline:
Brian De Palma’s “Redacted” argues that the horrors of the Iraq war are being kept from us by inept or venal news media and the government’s propaganda machine. That’s a tenable premise for a provocative documentary; the horrors of every war elude description, and Mr. De Palma is clearly desperate to get a purchase on the chaotic nature of this one. But his film isn’t a documentary. It’s a work of propaganda in its turn, a digitally photographed meditation on our media-saturated age in which our men in uniform, like the news crews that cover them, create their own realities by shooting digital video of their exploits. The film’s core is a speculative and utterly unconvincing reconstruction of an incident that reportedly involved, among many horrors, the rape and savage killing of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl by members of a U.S. army squad. The Americans are portrayed with varying degrees of loathsomeness, but there’s not much variety in the film. It’s all an awful aberration.
Remember, this is a liberal’s review. Yep, exactly as I predicted back in February. As I wrote back then:
Why not make a film about the many rapes of Iraqi women by their fellow Muslims? Or about how many U.S. troops have saved countless women from the mass raping of Uday and Qusay Hussein or the rapes by their fighting Sunni and Shi’ite co-religionists? Well, DePalma would never do movies on those things. Because, hey, they aren’t anti-American. And that would portray the Muslims, not American troops, in a bad–and truthful–light. And we can’t have that in Hollywood.
And, again, this sure doesn’t sound “patriotic” to me, Mark.
Tags: America, Bill O'Reilly, Brian De Palma, Brian DePalma, Debbie Schlussel Back, digital video, Dismal, Iraq, Joe Morgenstern, Mark Cuban, media-saturated age, meditation, Propaganda, Qusay Hussein, Redacted, Speculative and Utterly Unconvincing, the Wall Street Journal, Uday Hussein, United States, United States Army, venal news media, Wall Street Journal