Petra Musketeers
Redacted
2007
Brian De Palma

Redacted is a 2007 American war film written and directed by Brian De Palma. It is a fictional dramatization, loosely based on the2006 Mahmudiyah killings in Mahmoudiyah, Iraq, when U.S. Army soldiers raped an Iraqi girl and murdered her along with her family. This film, which is a companion to an earlier film by De Palma, 1989's Casualties of War, was shot in Jordan.

Redacted premiered at the 2007 Venice Film Festival, where it earned a Silver Lion "best director" award. It was also shown at theToronto Film Festival, the New York Film Festival and the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema. The film opened in Spain, and in fifteen theaters in limited release in the United States on November 16, 2007. The film received mixed reactions from critics and a poor financial response in its limited U.S. release.

Plot

In early April 2006, Private First Class Angel "Sally" Salazar (Izzy Diaz), a young United States Army soldier serving in the Iraq War, is an aspiring filmmaker who enlisted in the U.S. Army to help him get into film school, as he "did not get into USC". Salazar, based out of Camp "The Oven" Carolina, near Samarra, Iraq, is using his camcorder to record an amateur documentary, Tell Me No Lies, about his deployment in Samarra, to present to a film school of his choice as part of his future enrollment there as a student. Meanwhile, a French documentary crew is shooting a documentary called Barrage while they are embedded with Salazar's platoon.

The French documentary crew films the soldiers performing their routine duties as they man a checkpoint as part of their deployment in Iraq, to help curtail insurgent logistics. Using mirrors and bomb-sniffing dogs, the soldiers spend their days searching cars at the checkpoint. One day, the French documentary crew manages to videotape an incident in which Private First Class Reno Flake (Patrick Carroll), while manning a Humvee-mounted M2 Browning machine gun, fires on a speeding car that tries to rush through the checkpoint. A pregnant woman who was a passenger in the car, is shot and is rushed to the hospital by her husband, and later dies. It is later revealed that the husband, the driver of the car, was simply trying to get his pregnant wife to the hospital, as she was in labor, and misinterpreted the soldiers' commands to stop, believing that they were telling him that he was clear to proceed on through.

Back at Camp Carolina, Salazar, camcorder in hand, asks Flake how he felt about killing the pregnant woman, and he replies that he felt "nothing", and that it was like "gutting catfish". When Specialist Lawyer McCoy (Rob Devaney), a married, college-educated soldier, is disgusted by this response, Salazar and McCoy press the issue further, and Flake offers a sarcastic, facetious apology to Salazar's camcorder, enjoying the limelight. Sergeant Jim Vazquez (Mike Figueroa) defuses the situation before it gets out of hand, stating that Flake's actions were justified under the rules of engagement (ROE).


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