Friday, 23 May 2008

Privacy and naturalism again

As for me, I think that no extra disclaimer is needed and that audiences should know better than to rely on films for their historical knowledge, but I could be wrong and questions remain about censorship and responsibility...

...but how I can plug that into Rendition, a film in some ways frighteningly similar to Das Leben von Anderen in its view of government (though the Westophiles in East Germany, as a rule, were not bombing civilians, either in the film or in reality, unlike the extremist Muslims in Rendition and reality). It's very tempting to take Rendition as accurate in spirit and in details - a respectable and innocent Arab living in America is grabbed without due process at an airport and tortured in a pro-US military regime in the Middle East. Watching that sort of thing cannot simply be an artistic activity, as if there were a self-contained artistic zone we can slip into every now and then (pace escapist fans of pap action films). It is bound to affect one's views of the current US approach to fighting terrorism.

And there has been no shortage of films recently about how Americans ought to think about domestic terrorism, the latest being Déjà vu, a slightly glossy and fluffy sci-fi thriller, which once again brings up the question of the viewer-as-voyeur. It's actually very well done (Denzel Washington is excellent and reassuring as always), even if the female-lead-in-underwear device is exploited in a slightly populist and degrading reference to the problem of voyeurism. And the ultra-patriots within the country are just as dangerous as the enemies outside... The state propaganda machine is working hard these days against the defenders of individual liberty and federalism... ;-)