Redacted utilizes a variety of fictional source material—video diaries, feature documentaries, surveillance footage, online video, news broadcasts—to tell the story of a group of soldiers stationed in Iraq. Inspired by true events.
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Generally, Brian De Palma doesn't give a fuck about verisimilitude: his images are consciously images, hence this mash-up of old war movie cliches and new digital media, with the realities of 21st century combat residing in there somewhere. It's a brilliant, provocative concept, and the execution can't keep up. But it deserves to be seen. None of the other Movie Brats were doing anything this ballsy circa 2007.
De Palma's allegory arises from our collective blind spot and fills in the titular blacked out bits with what we have stored in our collective experience, in the process revealing, ironically, how limited our view of our times has become.
I'll agree with what others have said, the fact that it relies on docudrama is probably what indeed hurts it, but even still it poses very valid notions as to the role of the U.S. as an instigating presence and the individual soldiers having their own choices and actions to consider within a country that's been supremely devastated and a people who've varyingly been oppressed, fanaticized and overall decimated.
My first Brian de Palma. The least I can say is that I'm not disappointed! The fascinating theme of Iraq's war is explored through various lenses. Each media has its own set of technical, political and ethical rules. Pretty violent, the rough details of the war are offered by De Palma himself, closing the loop with his own lens.
Astonishing, questioning and esthetic in a bothering way: that makes 5 stars for me
If "Casualties of War" is one of the biggest fails in de Palma's career, "Redacted" it is his redemption.A different war, same problem (as matter of fact, two problems, the first one is how he shows the brutality of the army and the second one a girl violation and the army's resistance to that fact).You have another thing new in this film, the way he combines different types of images (thing that Romero will do too).
I don't get how internet ratings on imdb and rotten tomatoes are so low. This film is full of interesting characters and an intense situation. I'm curious if the further away in time we get from the wars, if this film will start receiving higher ratings.