Brian de Palma’s flawed but bitingly insightful film Redacted.(2006), based in part on an actual rape/murder in Al-Mahmūdīya (Iraq) in 2006 by five U.S. Army soldiers, takes as its subject the war in Iraq, the media representation of the war in Iraq, various modalities of representation in multiple types of media, and ultimately the problem of representation in general. The video footage shot by the character Angel Salazar, a U.S. soldier whose squad staffs a checkpoint in Sāmarrā’, Iraq (which he aspires to use in his application to film school after his tour of duty), purports to be “authentic,” providing the viewer with the “real” story, the Truth of the war in Iraq, based on “actual events.” He claims that his film will not be a “Hollywood action flick” and will have no “adrenalin-pumping soundtrack, no logical narrative to help make sense of it. Basically here, shit happens,” he maintains. Later he claims about his film: “… this is about the truth, bro. This is about what’s goin’ down. This is about the truth, 24/7. This camera, it never lies.”


Collateral Damage Squad Staff Medieval Literature Army Soldier Medieval Text 
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  1. 3.
    See Darko Suvin, “Can People be (Re)Presented in Fiction?: Toward a Theory of Narrative Agents and a Materialist Critique beyond Technocracy or Reductionism,” in Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture, ed. Cary Nelson and Lawrence Grossberg (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988), p. 667 [663–96].Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Ferdinand de Saussure, Cours de linguistique générale, ed. Charles Bally and Albert Sechehaye (Paris: Payot, 1916).Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Edward Said, Orientalism (New York: Random House, 1978).Google Scholar

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© Jerold C. Frakes 2011

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