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Brian DePalma: Creep. (Updated)

Al Qaeda propagandist.

Don't tell me I'm calling for censorship. I'm not. I don't ever, won't ever, call for censorship.

And don't bother making the point that I'm criticizing a movie I haven't seen. I haven't seen it, so I'm not commenting on the technique, the plotting, the acting, or any other element of the movie.

I'm talking about the choice of subject for a movie by Brian DePalma.

American director Brian De Palma is launching his controversial new film based on the rape and murder of an Iraqi girl by US troops.
...

"When I read about the Mahmudiyah incident in Iraq 2006 - five US soldiers raped a local girl, killed her and her family and later tried to disguise it as an insurgent attack - I knew I had a story."
Dear Mr. DePalma: You can make a movie about anything. You want to do something political, something capital "I" important? You could do a movie about Darfur. Uganda. Repression in China. Repression in Saudi Arabia. Repression in Myanmar. Repression in . . . fill in the blanks. You could deal with a million godawful things, foreign and domestic.

If you feel you simply must criticize your own government -- a perfectly legitimate choice -- you could do Abu Ghraib which was at least an institutional failure. Or you could document military mistakes or intelligence mistakes in Iraq or Afghanistan. There's no shortage of legitimate targets of opportunity. I could make you a list.

But instead you choose to focus on a single act of horrific criminality.

Why?

What was the thought process that winnowed down a list of a thousand possible subjects to the single least representative and most inflammatory episode in this fucked up war? What can your motivation possibly be?

It's not educational or informative. It's not entertainment. It's an expression of hatred for your own country. And that isn't brave or honest, it's just churlish, immature and creepy.

I don't complain much about liberal bias. I'm not one of those guys. But Jesus Christ, what in God's name would possess you to point a giant, flaming finger at this monstrous aberration? And then to premiere this piece of anti-Americanism in front of a foreign audience?

It may be a brilliant piece of filmaking. It won't change the fact that you're a fucking tool.

(Callimachus agrees, albeit with fewer f-bombs, and links to several other blogs.)

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“Brian DePalma: Creep. (Updated)”

  1. Blogger eandubh Says:

    What is your problem? War, as everyone knows, is murder with a license from the powers that be. But the powers that be can never admit that rape (still a lesser offense) is part of the bargain. De Palma's observations expose the hypocrisy and the terrible truth.

  2. Blogger Michael Reynolds Says:

    If rape is part of the bargain why are we prosecuting the men involved? Why has no one in the military chain of command, or in the civilian leadership, made the argument you make? Why do the military codes of justice and the Army manual condemn such actions?

    Evidently the generals, colonels and so on set a higher moral standard than you do.

    This kind of facile, pseudo-sophistcated cynicism ends by sanctioning acts that are heartily disapproved of by the military and by the American people.

    De Palma's making propagnda, evidently swallowed whole by you.

  3. Blogger Michael Says:

    The problem isn't so much the subject matter, as that de Palma is such a hack, such a bad moviemaker.

    If one had to defend his choice of subject matter, one might argue that his story is about how war dehumanizes not just the victims but also the soldiers who go over carrying our best intentions. (Leave that line unmolested, if you will.) This movie sounds not far from the subject matter of the execrable Casualties of War, a critical success that duped even the usually clear-eyed Pauline Kael (she always had a thing for this hack). De Palma likely thinks he's creating great art. And he likely thinks this is the shot in the arm his flagging career needs.

    As usual, however, it will be shit, and shit that will be about as morally sophisticated as a stick figure cartoon.

  4. Blogger Michael Reynolds Says:

    The last decent movie he made was Untouchables and that only because he had the sense to cast Sean Connery.

  5. Blogger Internet Ronin Says:

    I think it is an excellent example of how hatred for George W. Bush can push some over the edge of reason and taste. I don't view it as revealing hatred for his own country, as opposed to the policies of the Bush Administration, but I can see how you can make that argument, as DePalma appears incapable of differentiating the two things himself. I am curious to know, however, if the film tells the viewers that those involved were brought to justice. Probably not. (I'm not curious enough to see it, however.)

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