Saturday, September 25, 2004And You Thought Hollywood Was Cut-Throat
The burgeoning Iraqi film industry appears to be going in an interesting direction:
You might have thought that sitting down to watch a series of filmed executions would become tedious after the tenth unfortunate victim is dragged before the camera to be slaughtered like a sheep. After all, most of the characters do not change much. There are the hooded Islamic holy warriors standing to attention, as the charges are read out to the accused, usually a man in an orange jumpsuit kneeling and blindfolded on the floor before them. The sets are the same too, often a dingy cement backroom in a house probably on the outskirts of Baghdad. The build-up is tedious. A martial song in Arabic exhorts the faithful to fight and then the commander reads out a statement, often a hammy delivery that even a B-movie Egyptian actor would not get away with. But the closing scenes never fail to shock, no matter how often you witness the sight of a man gasping his last breath as his head is hacked off with a knife. After two or three of these savage episodes you begin to feel physically sick and somehow complicit in these terrible acts.
(via War and Piece)
Yeesh. Kinda brings a whole new meaning to the term "cut".
So far in all this, I have not watched a single beheading video. I've considered it -- facing the beast and all that -- but I don't know what actual good that would do, and anyway, I really don't think I could take it. I'm as inured to violence as any American, but when it comes to watching real death, I'd rather spare my soul that particular assault.
Still, I think the simple fact that the lopping off of foreigners' heads has become a popular form of entertainment in Iraq tells us something about how our host nation (and you can read that in terms of either diplomacy or parasitism) views our presence.
Just a thought.