No poster could ever effectively convey the fury and madness of Brian De Palma’s Iraq War indictment, Redacted, but there’s something kind of… imprecise about this key art. I like the idea of blotted out information revealing the face of a panic-stricken child, but the way it’s framed by the barricade recalls a number of modern war movies. This could be a poster for just about any movie about the Iraq War.
And this is wrong because Redacted is unlike any war movie I’ve ever seen; it challenges the viewer to consider at all times a) the intent of the person wielding the camera and b) the media savvy of the person in front of the camera. But it’s also a cold, alienating experience in that De Palma doesn’t seem to have much empathy for the troops in this movie. He’s essentially reconfigured the tragedy of Casualties of War as a satire that is very much in the vein of Greetings and Hi, Mom!, and the whole film goes down like a shot of gasoline.
Redacted will see a limited release on November 16, 2007, but I don’t anticipate an expansion beyond the major markets. It’s just too divisive. It also doesn’t help that audiences have thus far avoided the far more accessible In the Valley of Elah (and seem lukewarm on the mindlessly entertaining The Kingdom). They want nothing to do with the Middle East. If only the government they elected felt the same way.