'Redacted' is Repulsive
By Ross Kaminsky
Brian DePalma’s “Redacted” did something that is not easy to do: It left me briefly at a loss for words. But given that words are what a movie review is made of, I shall select a few: Repugnant, repulsive, anti-American propaganda.
Whereas “Lions for Lambs” could have been written by a first-year college film class, “Redacted” could have been written by the “Ministry of Information” of Iran or Hamas.
The premise of the movie is a montage of different video sources, including videos taken by US soldiers, surveillance cameras, insurgents, and American civilians using YouTube-like programs and blogs. But what this movie is really about is summarized well in the “Plot Keywords” on IMDb.com: “Gang Rape”, “Iraq War”, and “Pregnant Woman Murdered”.
Every moment of this movie is an attack on the US military. Every soldier is made to look evil, stupid, or feckless, everything from being rapists and murderers right down to being mean to kids. DePalma says in an interview that he’s clear these are the bad apples, but since he never shows any other character types the obvious implication is that the whole army is a barrel of bad apples.
In their desire to criticize the war and crucify the military, De Palma, Cuban and friends have taken to heart Goebbels’ belief that "It is not propaganda’s task to be intelligent, its task is to lead to success." But Americans are not highly susceptible to such transparent hatred which may explain why this film was first released in Spain and not yet widely released in America. At the time of this writing, about 1,050 people had rated this film on IMDB. There is a clear trend that the older (and wiser) the viewer, the less they liked the film. More interestingly, the average vote from a US viewer is about 4/10 while Non-US viewers rate it above 7/10.
This movie will likely do fairly well in Europe and very well in the Middle East, much as films about Jews making bread with childrens’ blood can do well in such places. In fact, “Redacted” is all to similar to those films in intent. The style of the film as a series of apparent documentaries interspersed with fake news broadcasts will be effective with unsophisticated viewers and many will believe what they are seeing to be true or at least representative.
The movie will be shown as a recruiting tool by Al Qaeda and will cause at least a few ordinary people to hate and mistrust America. It wouldn’t surprise me if a few of those took violent action (or financed it) as a result. That blood will be on the hands of Brian De Palma and Mark Cuban. Unfortunately, that’s probably just what they want.
For self-hating Americans offering aid and comfort to the enemy, “Redacted” earns the full five Jane Fondas, as well as my undying enmity for those who created, financed, and acted in it.