More than with any film I’ve seen at the New York Film Festival so far, I’ve been struggling to find a way to talk about Brian De Palma’s Redacted, a movie that attempts to recreate the appalling images which have been systematically removed from the “news” about Iraq. The devastating reconstruction of the rape and murder of a 15-year-old Iraqi girl by American soldiers in Samarra in 2006, told entirely through “found” footage, the film felt like a well-aimed punch to the gut — or perhaps a stab in the heart. Whether blunt or sharp, the film’s impact is impossible to dismiss. Even though I thought I was handling the brutalities on screen well (usually by leaning over to scribble something in my notebook), I found myself unable to get up once the final credits started to roll; it had become physically impossible to move. Redacted sent me reeling.
Redacted. Brian De Palma, 2007. ****