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[影片快递] 【整理】影评快递 2008-01-27, Redacted 节选修订

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Redacted is a new film written and directed by Brian De Palma. It has some similarity to the earlier film of his Casualties of War in that both of these movies deal with atrocity committed by American military personnel overseas. Casualties of War was about Vietnam. This movie is about war in Iraq. It tracks very close the details of a real event of crime committed by American serviceman in the town of Mahmudiya.

But Redacted doesn't just dramatize the story in the straightforward narrative way. It uses the techniques by which we've become familiar with what's going on here in Iraq so that every piece of footage, everything we see in the movie is as if it has been filtered through another camera, so you see the video diary of one of the soldiers, you see security camera footage or you see website video clips. You also see a very clever parity of a French documentary about an American soldier's guarding a checkpoint.

And the point seems to be that the truth which, one of, De Palma is trying to show us is always filtered, always mediated, always coming from a certain point of view. It is an interesting idea and it is an interestingly made film. I wish it were of more forceful and persuasive. One of the big problems is that the acting style does really gibe with the motive visual presentation. Visually, it is supposed to be very raw and immediate and unfiltered as if you could be a little hand camera right there in the action. But the dialogue, especially the acting, feels very mannered and very stagy.

And the arguments that they have about large mission in Iraq also about the particular things that they are doing while they are there, which are truly horrific, seem very canned and potted, not really work out and imbedded in the dramatic reality. There are a lot of ideas in this movie about war and what's soldiers doing war and about the truth and how it gets out, about the moral responsibility of people to tell the truth and seek the truth. But his ideas kind of float on the surface and get stuffs into the characters' mouths so that you don't really feel the impact that I think De Palma wants you to feel, you don't feel as angry, as outraged, as confused, as bewildered, as furious, as he clearly does in making this movie.
The world's perverse, but it could be worse.
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